We are planning to build a 240,000 tonne Resource Recovery Centre in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. This will include a waste-to-energy facility to treat household, commercial, industrial, hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
The facility will generate approximately 18.5MW of electricity for export to the national grid, or enough electricity to supply 30,000 households. Our plans for Ringaskiddy closely mirror our existing facility in Duleek, Co. Meath in terms of size and scale. Our Meath facility has been operating successfully since 2011.
Is there a need for this new facility?
We believe that there is a need for a waste-to-energy facility in the Cork region. As members of CEWEP (Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants), we agree that additional waste-to-energy capacity is required on the island of Ireland. This need has been identified by EU national and regional waste policy and, as such, our plans for Ringaskiddy are fully in line with national, regional and local planning regulations.
In addition, the Southern Region Waste Management Plan (SRWMP 2015-2021) supports the development of up to 300,000 tonnes of thermal recovery capacity for the treatment of municipal waste. The SRWMP notes that spatial distribution of thermal recovery facilities nationally is potentially unbalanced, as all operational and planned thermal recovery facilities are in the Eastern-Midlands region. We believe that our Ringaskiddy waste-to-energy facility will bring balance to the spatial distribution of thermal recovery facilities.
Why did Indaver choose Ringaskiddy as the location for its second waste-to-energy facility in Ireland?
Our site in Ringaskiddy is located in an industrial and strategic employment area. The Cork County Development Plan, notes, that such locations are suitable for large-scale waste treatment facilities, including waste-to-energy facilities. Our site is strategically located to serve Cork and the southern region and it would provide an infrastructural asset to the region as it grows. Furthermore, our development plans are fully in line with the National Planning Framework Project Ireland 2040 and the Ballincollig Carrigaline Local Area Plan 2017.
What has Indaver done to ensure that its waste-to-energy facility fits in with the local environment?
Cork Harbour is already home to a number of significant large industries, many of which are located in Ringaskiddy. We have been careful to design our proposed waste-to-energy facility to reflect a corporate campus style, suited to the surrounding environment and mirroring other significant large industries located in the area.
An Bord Pleanála granted permission for Indaver’s waste-to-energy facility on May 31st, 2018. Why is the decision currently being challenged via judicial review?
We are pleased that An Bord Pleanála (ABP) granted permission for our Ringaskiddy facility on May 31st this year. However, public decisions made by administrative bodies such as ABP can be judicially reviewed by the High Court. The judicial review is scheduled to be heard in the High Court in March 2019, and we are engaging fully with this legal process.
Are there any negative health impacts from waste-to-energy facilities?
The potential health impacts of waste-to-energy facilities have been thoroughly assessed by a number of different national and international health authorities.
Public Health England is a government body in the UK who undertakes research and makes recommendations on issues pertaining to human health. In February 2015, they stated that, “well ran and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators are not a significant risk to public health.” This was supported in their further studies in November 2018, which found that there is no evidence for increased risk of birth outcomes, such as, birth weight and preterm delivery, for people living near operating WtE facilities.
Are there any negative environmental impacts from waste-to-energy facilities?
Waste-to-energy is a well-proven, internationally recognised technology. There are over 500 similar waste-to-energy facilities successfully operating in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and France. Incineration has been part of their waste management systems for more than 20 years. There are currently two waste-to-energy facilities located in Ireland – our own facility in Duleek, Co. Meath, which has been operating successfully since 2011 and Covanta’s facility in Poolbeg which began operating last year.
What impact will Indaver’s waste-to-energy facility have on Ringaskiddy?
We believe that our proposed facility will have a positive impact on Ringaskiddy. We have committed to an investment of €1,000,000 to support the upgrading of the local road to prevent occasional flooding that occurs from time to time. We also plan to upgrade the surface water drainage network from the western end of the site to the eastern end of Gobby Beach car park.
The proposed works will include raising a 185-metre length of the road by a maximum height of up to one metre between Gobby Beach car park and the entrance to the National Maritime College (NMCI). We will incorporate high-quality landscaping to the campus style environment of our facility and construct an amenity walkway to provide enhanced public access to Gobby Beach and the Martello Tower.
Will the addition of a waste-to-energy facility have an impact on traffic levels in Ringaskiddy?
As part of the planning application process, we commissioned a number of traffic modelling studies and developed a mobility management plan. We are currently undertaking a revised traffic management study in the area, however, previous studies have shown that our proposed facility will have a minimal impact on the road network. Following completion of the latest traffic management study, it will be rolled out and delivered in close consultation with Cork County Council.