Dublin councils have spent €91 million on Poolbeg

DUBLIN’S LOCAL AUTHORITIES have spent a total of over €91 million to date on the stalled proposed incinerator at Poolbeg – and remain committed to ensuring the facility is built.

A report presented to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee, written by Dublin city manager John Tierney, says the deadline for the resumption of work – which is currently set for November 5 – is set to be extended in order to give operators Covanta enough time to secure for the deal.

“Every effort is still being made to commence the project before the end of the year, but it will be at least four to six weeks before the revised date can be confirmed,” Tierney wrote in the report originally supplied to city councillors.

Funding for the project was due to have been finalised by August under the last confirmed schedule.

Tierney said the council remained fully committed to the project, particularly in light of the revised national waste policy published last July, in which environment minister Phil Hogan had “recognised the importance of waste as an energy resource opportunity”.

The report had also outlined the need “to ensure a sufficiency of waste management infrastructure within the State to manage municipal waste”, and the proposals to amalgamate regional waste management plans in which Dublin City Council was likely to be the lead authority for the eastern region.

The councils’ insistence comes in spite of mounting claims from opponents to the plant, who claim the economic downturn means Dublin is no longer producing enough waste to fulfil the local authorities’ deal with Covanta.

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