HDS Energy in Kells will construct a bioenergy facility at Balrath near the town.
A major jobs boost is on the cards for north Meath in 2013, as proposals for a wood briquette and bioenergy plant at Balrath, Kells, has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanala.
Up to 220 jobs are expected to be created in constructing the Shamrock Renewable Fuels facility, which will also include a small power station. When complete, it is expected to employ 120 jobs on-site at Balrath, and a further 50 to 60 in transport to the facility.
The project has been delayed for the past two years as a result of planning difficulties but the recent An Bord Pleanala's ruling has paved the way for work to start.
Alan Fox, managing director of Shamrock's parent company, HDS Energy, which is also based in Kells, said the Balrath plant would mean a huge spin-off of about €18 million to the local economy annually, as the company procures willow from farmers and forestry sources.
He also indicated that HDS, based at Kells Business Park, would be increasing its workforce by up to 30 as the firm will be manufacturing equipment for the new plant.
The proposed development will store, dry and process plant biomass, wood and energy crops for the manufacture of briquettes and pellet biofuels. It will include an integrated combined heat and power (CHP) plant utilising wood and plant biomass fuels to generate the electrical power required for the bioenergy plant.
Surplus electrical output will be exported to the national grid as green carbon-neutral electricity, and surplus recovered heat from the CHP process will be used in the biofuel drying process.
The company will now seek European Directive approval for the plant, which is expected to take a number of months. Mr Fox explained that, once this is obtained, he hopes construction can begin in April or May.