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Irish biomass plant given green light

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Clare County Council in Ireland has given the green light for the construction of a biomass plant in Stonehall.

In September 2020, Carbon Sole Group submitted plans for the construction of a biomass processing and storage area, a gasification and methanation facility for the production of advanced biofuels, and a gasification and combined heat and power facility.

Carbon Sole Group said the plant can offset one million tonnes of carbon over 15 years, The Clare Echo reported, and will be able to offer carbon-free heating to businesses in Shannon and potentially homes in the town.

Sean Daly, CEO of Carbon Sole Group, said the development will lead to an investment of millions of euros in local forestry, with an estimated 48 permanent jobs created at the plant and a further 100 in harvesting and haulage. An estimated 60-80 l will be employed in the construction phase of the project.

The Clare Echo reported that locals opposed the plans put before the council and around 400 signatures and more than 30 submissions were presented. Local people expressed concerns over increased traffic on the roads, as well as the impact of flights in and out of the area in the event of a fire at the plant.

In July 2020, Carbon Sole partnered with EQTEC Iberia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EQTEC, to jointly participate in biogas and district heating projects in Ireland.

In a statement made at the time, Daly commented: “Carbon Sole Group are delighted to announce our partnership with EQTEC, focused on the development of our projects in Ireland, starting with the regional gateway towns of Shannon and Sligo, to the north and mid-west of Ireland, which are strategically important to the development of industry clusters, employment and living.

“EQTEC’s advanced technologies will be key to enable Carbon Sole to utilise locally-sourced forestry and agri-waste materials, to deliver a mix of green energy products to meet the various energy demands of each town (electricity, heating, transport), securing future sustainable growth, employment, and low-carbon economic development.”