Plan to build Tipperary hydro-plant

A company whose backers include construction groups Sisk and Roadbridge is planning to build a large-scale electricity generating plant in a disused mine.

Siga Hydro will next week detail plans to convert part of a disused mine close to Silvermines village in Tipperary into a pump-storage hydro plant that will generate enough electricity to power almost 400,000 homes.

Local TD and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and the company will announce plans for the generator in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, on Monday. Siga intends to follow this with a public consultation ahead of seeking planning permission for the project.

Siga’s biggest shareholder is founder Nenagh-based businessman Darren Quinn. Its annual returns show that two of the Republic’s biggest building and civil engineering companies, Sisk and Roadbridge, each hold 2.5 per cent of the company.

If planners give it the go-ahead, the Silvermines project will be the second pump-storage hydro-electric generator to be built in the Republic. The other, the ESB’s Turlough Hill plant in Co Wicklow, has been operating for more than 40 years.