Portlaoise residents are ‘extremely concerned’ about the proposed ‘waste to gas’ plant at Coolnamona, say local councillors.
Speaking at the Portlaoise municipal district meeting on Monday, cllrs Catherine Fitzgerald and Caroline Dwane Stanley said residents have voiced their concerns to them over the planned anaerobic digestor site.
Bord na Móna plans to build a plant which takes in food and animal waste and digests it down to produce gas for the national grid and uses the leftover by-product as fertilizer on farms.
The renewal gas plant would be located about 2km from Portlaoise town and is close to Togher, near the Portlaoise Rugby Club grounds.
There were two community information days held by Bord na Móna last week.
Residents are ‘extremely cautious’ about the proposed plans, according to cllr Fitzgerald.
“The residents are extremely, extremely concerned about waste to gas. I know from being out in the area they are very, very concerned.
“We want to get industry and walkways here but residents are extremely cautious.
“All animal offal, waste everything is going to be going into it and we are fighting tooth and nail to bring industry, greenways, walkways. Personally, even my own home could be affected by this and people are very nervous,” she said.
“I have been contacted by residents in Clonkeen, Bellingham and everywhere. I would have concerns I think the two main issues are the odour issue and traffic,” said cllr Dwane Stanley.
In October last year Bord na Móna launched its Brown to Green strategy that aligns the company with national and EU decarbonisation policies.
It is projected that the plant will produce enough renewable biogas to supply about 5,500 per annum.
The development of the project is thought to provide about 100 jobs at peak construction.
Once operational there will be 8 to 10 long term jobs in operations and maintenance of the plant. Rates from the plant will accrue to Laois County Council.