The Indaver municipal waste incinerator outside Duleek will start waste-burning trials later this week.
Ireland's first municipal waste incinerator outside Duleek will start burning waste for the first time this week.
The Indaver waste-to-energy plant at Carranstown will start combusting waste on a trial basis by the end of this week, nearly 12 years after the controversial project was first mooted.
The plant has been accepting small quantities of municipal waste since 15th August and incineration will commence later this week.
According to a spokesperson for the company, there will be a series of checks carried out when combustion begins, including performance tests and environmental checks under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EOA) between now and mid-November, including checks on emmissions.
There will also be fine-tuning and various checks before the final handover of the plant from the suppliers to Indaver in mid-November. It is expected that the plant will start exporting electricity to the national grid in the second half of October.
Jackie Keaney of Indaver explained that the furnce will be started up with fuel at first, until it reaches the required temperaturure of 850 degrees, when burning of waste will begin.
She said that a number of tests have already been carried out, including steam blowing, boiler cleaning and various technical tests.
Meanwhile, Indaver has indicated it will be applying for planning permission for proposals to burn light hazardous waste at the Carranstown plant and to increase tonnage and operating times. According to Ms Keaney, the company is currently preparing an environmental impact assessment and planning permission will be applied for in the coming months.
The company proposes to treat light industrial hazardous waste such as paint cans and empty contaminated packaging, as well as increasing capacity and extending operating times.
The company's newsletter, which was circulated to the local community last month, says that, currently, the majority of light industrial hazardous waste is sent abroad and is treated using the same grate furnace technology that is now available at Carranstown.
"The facility in Meath could treat this waste at a lower cost to industry and local authorities. This, in turn, will make the north-east region a more attractive location for industry," the newsletter stated.
Indaver also intends to seek permission to increase the capacity by an additional 10 per cent (20,000 tonnes). The company's proposals also include an increase in acceptance hours for waste to 24 hours a day. "It is not the intention to accept high volumes of waste outside of the current hours; however, more flexibility is required to avoid unnecessary gluts in deliveries to the facility at key times in the morning and evenings for waste collectors," Indaver added.
Planning permission for the incinerator was granted by Meath County Council in 2001 and, the following year, Bord Pleanála heard a large number of objections during a lengthy oral hearing, but gave the project the green light in 2003. A further planning application to expand the incinerator was approved by Bord Pleanála in 2007 and construction began soon afterwards.
When the incinerator was first mooted by Indaver, it met with a wave of opposition, as more than 4,000 individual objections to the original planning application were made and a petition against the plan was signed by 27,000 people.
Meanwhile, the community fund to which Indaver will make a donation for every tonne that is accepted into the facility, is taking applications for 2011/2012.
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday 30th September 2011 at 5pm and should be returned to: Paul Monahan, Administrative Officer, Meath County Council, Duleek One-Stop-Shop.