Bord Na Móna Withdraws Plans For US Wood Pellet Plant
Semi-state energy company Bord na Móna has cancelled plans to invest €60 million into the construction of a wood pellet factory in the US state of Georgia, according to reports by The Irish Times.
The plant was announced last year and planned to turn willow trees into pellets to be exported to Ireland as fuel for electricity generators.
Bord na Móna has reportedly decided to drop the plan for the US facility, even though the Government was prepared to back it up, as it has enough biofuel sources closer to Ireland and Europe.
This development comes as the company is set to announce fuel conversion plans designed to safeguard 2,100 jobs, mostly in the midlands.
Bord na Móna supplies fellow State energy company ESB with biomass to fuel the latter’s power plants in Lough Ree and west Offaly, both of which burn peat.
However, the ESB plants have to convert their sources to a blend of both peat and biomass, i.e. wood or plants, by the end of next year. Bord na Móna believes that this will be critical to maintaining the 2,100 jobs in that area.
With rising demand for peat, the company intends to use a mix of Irish and imported biomass.
Bord na Móna’s own plant in Edenderry, Co Kildare, already burns both peat and biomass.
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