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(1) Irish Examiner (02-04-07) - Company suspends plans for incinerators

(2) Sunday Business Post (01-04-07) - Waste firm abandons plan to build incinerators - By Susan Mitchell

(3) Sunday Business Post (01-04-07) - Indaver to shift focus to Britain - By Susan Mitchell

(4) CHASE Press Release (01-04-07)

(5) Indymedia Article


(1) Irish Examiner (02-04-07) - Company suspends plans for incinerators

Belgian-owned company Indaver blamed the Government for the decision, saying ministers failed to put in place measures to ensure waste was burned instead of being buried at landfill sites.

Campaigners welcomed the decision by Indaver but insisted the company could still go back on its latest decision and resurrect plans for the incinerators at Carranstown, Co Meath, and Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

“Nothing has changed as far as we’re concerned. Indaver still has planning permission for Ringaskiddy and a waste licence,” said Mary O’Leary of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) action group.

CHASE is bringing a High Court action over the granting of planning permission for the incinerator while residents in Ringaskiddy are seeking a judicial review of a decision to grant the firm a waste permit.

According to yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, Indaver said lack of Government action on waste meant rubbish is cheaper to dump at the tip rather than recycle or deal with in other ways.

Indaver Ireland chief John Ahern said recycling, as well as incineration, would help the country deal more effectively with the growing amount of waste being generated. In Ringaskiddy and Carranstown, the firm had planned to burn waste to generate electricity, helping the country reduce amounts going to the tip.

“The Government does not seem serious about encouraging alternatives to landfill and so major international companies are not interested,” said Mr Ahern.

He said individual Government ministers had publicly acknowledged the need for incinerators to deal with the country’s growing amount of waste.

“Bertie Ahern has also been vocal on the subject yet policies and plans are not being implemented on the ground. There is a lack of control and direction,” he said.

Indaver claimed the Government needed to increase the €15-per-tonne tax on rubbish sent to landfill to ensure alternatives, such as recycling and burning, become more commercially viable.

The firm is instead planning to invest in similar facilities in Britain where the tax is set at €36-a-tonne to encourage waste firms and councils to recycle or deal with their waste differently.

Despite its decision on the incinerators, Indaver said it was committed to its other waste management plants, which deal with recycled household and electronic waste.

Indaver yesterday said it would continue to ensure the company obtained all the necessary permits for the Co Meath and Co Cork incinerators to go ahead.

But the company is suspending plans to build the plants until the Government puts into place measures to discourage landfill dumping and favour incineration, a spokeswoman said.

Yesterday, the Department of Environment defended its stance on waste policy despite the criticism by Indaver Ireland. “Government policy on landfill and waste management will not be determined by the actions of a single company. It will be based on the public good,” said a spokesman for Environment Minister Dick Roche. 

(2) Sunday Business Post (01-04-07) - Waste firm abandons plan to build incinerators - By Susan Mitchell

One of the country’s biggest waste management companies has shelved plans to build two incinerators in a major setback to the government’s waste policy.

One of the country’s biggest waste management companies has shelved plans to build two incinerators in a major setback to the government’s waste policy.

Indaver Ireland had planned to build incinerators in Meath and Cork. The company’s managing director John Ahern said the decision was due to the state’s failure to implement a national and regional waste policy.

He added that the failure meant that its proposed incinerators, which would have cost €200 million, would not be commercially viable in the current market.

Ahern said it was difficult for waste-to-energy and recycling companies to compete against landfill operators in the Irish market, even though incineration is part of state policy and the government has vowed to reduce the use of landfill.

Indaver had sought planning permission for a municipal waste incinerator in Carranstown near Duleek, Co Meath, and an industrial and municipal waste incinerator in Cork.

Ahern said Indaver’s team in Ireland now planned to focus on the British market instead. ‘‘We were going to spend €200 million [in Ireland]. We’re now off to spend it somewhere else. We have done the groundwork. We’re not getting out and we’ll be prepared to move when this market sorts itself out,” he said.

Ahern said that, should Indaver secure planning permission, which is considered likely, the company would postpone its plans until there was a strong signal that waste policies would be implemented.

In its recently published report, Bioenergy Action Plan for Ireland (2007), the government reiterated its support for renewable electricity being generated from waste-to-energy facilities, but Ahern said the reality was different on the ground.

The EU recently announced that it was taking legal steps against Ireland for not following EU waste landfill regulations. Indaver’s decision not to proceed with the incinerators follows the collapse of negotiations between the developer of the Poolbeg incinerator and Dublin City Council.

Ahern stressed that Indaver’s decision would not affect its existing business in Ireland. ‘‘We are still very committed to our existing business here. Last year was an excellent year for the company,” he said.

Indaver had a turnover of €36 million in 2006, a 26 per cent increase on 2005, according to its latest accounts. Earnings before interest and taxes more than doubled to €1.9million in 2006.

Indaver, which has been in business in Ireland for 30 years and has 110 employees, manages municipal and industrial waste. It handles hazardous and electrical waste and is involved in electronic equipment recycling.

It also manages recycling centres for local authorities.

Copyright - Sunday Business Post

(3) Sunday Business Post (01-04-07) - Indaver to shift focus to Britain
By Susan Mitchell
Company cites ‘lack of control and direction’ on commitment to incinerators, writes Susan Mitchell

One of the largest waste management companies operating in Ireland, Indaver, plans to shift its focus to Britain, blaming serious difficulties with the implementation of government policy on alternatives to landfill, including incinerators.

John Ahern, managing director of Indaver Ireland, said that, while the company was not pulling out of the Irish market, it was frustrated by the ‘‘difficult working environment’’.

He said that a number of factors were inhibiting the development of waste management infrastructure here.

Indaver is a Belgian company with extensive operations across Europe.

He cited excess landfill capacity - which effectively makes it cheaper to dump waste rather than to recycle and lengthy planning and court delays as the key reasons for Indaver’s decision.

‘‘The driver from Europe is to move away from landfill to create an opening for other technologies, such as recycling and waste-to-energy,” Ahern said.

‘‘Ireland produced regional waste management plans in the late 1990s that said we would look to reduce landfill. We haven’t followed those plans and we won’t meet our European targets. In fact, we have allowed excess landfill. We are knee deep in it and nobody has shouted stop.”

Ahern said that the Irish government was not sending out the right message to investors in the recycling or waste-toenergy sector. Incinerators were identified as having a role to play in managing waste, particularly in heavily-populated areas such as Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork, the south-east and the midlands, but no incinerator has yet been built.

Indaver is going through the planning process for municipal incinerators in Cork and Meath. However, the development of a planned incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin by another firm is under threat.

Ahern said he believed there would be little interest in the project when it goes out to tender following the decision of Elsam, which won the original tender, to pull out.

‘‘Ireland is a small country and a small market,” Ahern said. ‘‘In some respects we need to make ourselves even more attractive to encourage investment. We have done the opposite and we have lost credibility abroad. The government doesn’t seem serious about encouraging alternatives to landfill and so major international companies are not interested.”

While few issues spark more public anxiety and hostility than the prospect of having an incinerator nearby, the past three environment ministers have acknowledged the need for incinerators as part of an overall waste management strategy.

‘‘We have had three ministers and all have taken the political risk of saying they saw the need for incinerators,” Ahern said.

‘‘They all took the political pain. Bertie Ahern has also been vocal on the subject, yet policies and plans are not being implemented on the ground. There is a lack of control and direction.”

H e said that no organisation has the power to restrict the availability of landfill and the recycling industry was also suffering as a result.

Ahern said that he believed it was imperative to increase the landfill levy in Ireland, which currently stands at €15 a tonne.

In Britain it costs €36 a tonne. Gordon Brown, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, signalled his intention to wean people and businesses in Britain away from waste disposal and towards recycling by announcing last month he would increase the landfill levy to €72 a tonne by 2010.

Brown said the new levy would help meet the British government’s aim, stated last December, to encourage ‘‘greater diversion of waste from landfill and more sustainable waste management options’’.

Ahern said that the British government had sent out a signal that it was serious about moving away from landfill.

Britain was also a much bigger market with bigger opportunities, he said, and there was a sense that Indaver’s team in Ireland was being underutilised.

Indaver first applied for planning permission for the Meath incinerator in 1999, but has ‘‘faced huge delays with the court system’’, according to Ahern.

‘‘A Supreme Court case was held into the incinerator in April 2005 and we still don’t have the judgment. It is an extraordinary amount of time to wait and is very frustrating,” he said. ‘‘We are also still waiting on a decision for a municipal incinerator in Cork.”

Hesaid the planning process would play out, but that Indaver had serious reservations about spending €200 million on building two incinerators when so little was being done to curtail landfill. He said he was concerned at their economic viability in the short term.

Ahern said that Indaver would ‘‘continue with the planning process’’, but the company had no intention of proceeding with the building of those incinerators without receiving a strong signal that current policy would be implemented. ‘‘We would be acting irresponsibly if we were to take on a black hole,” Ahern said.

‘‘We will complete the planning processes and then sit and wait until the government shows it is committed to encouraging alternatives to landfill.”

He stressed that this did not mean that Indaver would pull out of providing its waste management services in Ireland.

Indaver has a €4million solvent recovery facility at Dublin Port. In partnership with Rehab Recycling, the company developed an asset recovery service for its larger WEEE customers in 2006.

It recently expanded its recycling facility in Mallow, Co Cork.

The company is set to expand its hazardous waste facility at Dublin Port, to develop a marine terminal that would export solvents abroad.

Indaver, which employs 110 people, has about 500 customers in Ireland and services the majority of multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

‘‘That is another draw to the British market as many multinationals want a single supplier in Europe,” Ahern said.

‘‘We are still very committed to that side of the business in Ireland. We have done the groundwork for the incinerators and when there is greater certainty in the market we’ll return to build those incinerators.”

The Indaver group grew significantly last year. The group’s turnover rose by more than 10 per cent, from €210 million in 2005 to €233 million in 2006.

Earnings before interest and taxes increased from €12.8million in 2005 to €15.5 million in 2006.
Copyright - Sunday Business Post


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