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Killala power plant branded a ‘Trojan horse’

 

Anton McNulty

A NEWPORT man hoping to run as an Independent candidate in the General Election has claimed the proposed biomass power plant in Killala is a ‘Trojan horse’ destined to become an incinerator.
Mayo 1st Independent hopeful George O’Malley claimed that the proposed 42 MW power plant mooted for the former Asahi site near Killala will not be viable in the long term, and will eventually become an incinerator.
The claims were rubbished by Mayo County Council, which said that the strict planning permission conditions stipulated that only wood biomass can be used for the generation of electricity.
Mr O’Malley claimed the touted benefit – that local landowners will be able to diversify their agricultural incomes – is ‘a complete sham’, because the biomass will have to be imported.
“First of all about 160,000 acres of tillage quality land is required to produce sufficient willow biomass to power a 42 MW power plant. This quantity of suitable land is not available within the catchment of the proposed Killala plant. Even if it was available, dairying or tillage would represent a more profitable use of this land.
“The most likely development and chronology of events is that some imported biomass will be used to begin with, with the onus to supply long-term being placed on the shoulders of local landowners, who simply cannot deliver,” he said.
Mr O’Malley claimed that ‘when this does not materialise’, Mayo County Council and the EPA will apply for alterations to planning to allow for locally produced municipal solid waste to be used in the plant.
“It is difficult to see how this so called renewable energy power plant is anything other than a Trojan Horse. The people of north Mayo and west Sligo need to be told the truth and then a truly informed decision can be made as to whether they want a national incinerator for urban Ireland on the route of the Wild Atlantic Way,” he claimed.