Manufacturer and wholesaler of smokeless solid fuel products, CPL Industries has given the go-ahead for a €22m plant for manufacturing low-smoke coal in Foynes, Co. Limerick.
The announcement came after the Government made a commitment this week to make Ireland the first country to introduce a smoky coal.
In addition, the company has also revealed plans of its investment in Ireland with an announcement of a further €15m to be spent on developing pyrolysis units for transforming waste and biomass into raw materials for low-smoke coal.
The Foynes plant will be the second largest solid fuel production facility in Europe, producing smokeless coal from products including biomass materials, such as olive stones and crops from Irish farms including miscanthus and straw from rapeseed crops.
Tim Minett, CEO, CPL Industries, said: “We announced our plans for this investment in 2013 and this was very much contingent on delivery of a carbon tax relief (for products with minimum biomass content) as well as a Smokeless Ireland designation. With the carbon tax derogation announced in last year’s budget due to be brought into legislation shortly, the Smokeless Ireland designation was the missing piece in the jigsaw.
“This was initially a north-south initiative but I compliment Minister Kelly and his Department for having the foresight to press ahead and declare a ban on smoky coal products for the heating season 2017. Together with the carbon tax initiative introduced in by Minister Noonan, who has been equally supportive of and determined to secure this project, this has given us the market certainty that we needed.”
Pat Keating, CEO, Shannon Foynes Port Company, commented: “This is a pivotal day for Foynes as it illustrates our confidence that the Shannon Estuary can be a zone for significant international investment is very well placed. CPL is a leading international player in smokeless solid fuel products for the domestic heating market and this investment by them is the beginning of what we believe will be a new era for the estuary as a major international manufacturing base. Thanks to the natural deep water available here and the port facilities, Foynes and the wider estuary can become an international hub for a range of activities, including biofuels production.”