Dublins 550,000 TPA Poolbeg Waste to Energy Plant Given All Clear by EU

A series of measures by the Dublin local authorities in Ireland to participate in the Poolbeg waste to energy project have been found to be in line with the EU state aid rules. According to the European Commission, which made the ruling, since the project will be carried out on market terms, it does not involve any state aid within the meaning of the EU rules. Following a public tender, the Dublin local authorities entered into negotiations with Dublin Waste to Energy Limited (DWTEL) concerning the construction, maintenance and operation of a large-scale waste to energy plant located on the Poolbeg peninsula in Dublin. The planned facility will be a combined heat and power system (CHP) that uses municipal solid waste as fuel to generate electricity for the general public and is expected to process approximately 550 000 tonnes per annum of waste. The Dublin authorities will participate in the project through a series of measures, such as a waste revenue guarantee, a waste and electricity revenue sharing mechanism and a profit sharing schedule. This raised the question as it whether or not such activity constitutes ‘state aid. Public interventions in companies that carry out economic activities can be considered free of state aid within the meaning of the EU rules when they are made on terms that a private player operating under market conditions would have accepted - the so-called ‘market economy investor principle’. However, the Commission explained that its investigation demonstrated that the project will be carried out on terms that a private investor operating in a market economy would have accepted. Indeed, Dublin’s local authorities see in the project a business opportunity with a fair return on investment. As such, the Commission said that the Poolbeg waste to energy project involves no state aid as defined by Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.36591 in the State Aid Register on the competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. Read More Report into Dublin's Poolberg Incinerator Causing Controversy The former Irish Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has called for the publication of a report he commissioned that shows Dublin local authorities would face hundreds of millions of Euros if the controversial Poolbeg incinerator goes ahead. Poolbeg Waste to Energy Debate Rumbles on in Ireland Ireland is on track to meet European Landfill Direction targets for 2012 and 2016 for the diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill, according to a new report. Resized Poolbeg would Boost Jobs and Waste Investment Resizing the controversial Poolbeg waste to energy facility proposed for Dublin to 300,000 tonnes, combined with an increase in landfill prices could generate jobs and investment as part of a sustainable strategy for the development of the Dublin Region waste sector.