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Green Light for Portlaoise Biogas Plant
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Green Light for Portlaoise Biogas Plant

Planning approval has been given to a biogas production facility planned just outside Portlaoise.

Conditional approval has been given to Bord na Móna Powergen Ltd by Laois County Council for the facility in Cúil Na Móna Bog that would cover parts of the townlands of Clonboyne and Clonkeen.

What is Bio-Gas?
Biogas is a renewable, carbon-neutral gas generated from biological processes. The biogas is extracted from organic material such as food waste, animal slurries, biodegradable material and purpose-grown crops and can be harnessed for heat, electricity and transport. The biogas produced would be upgraded to produce a purer biomethane, equivalent to natural gas, which can be injected into the national gas grid.(Credit: Bord na Mona)

According to Bord na Mona’s website here the company envisages that up to to 80,000 tonnes of non-hazardous, biodegradable and organic materials would be treated every year. The company estimates that up to 5,500 homes could be supplied with enough renewable biogas from the facility. 

That figure of 80,000 tonnes would require in the region of 30,000 truck trips per year. That extra traffic was one of many reasons local people objected to this plant going ahead. Another concern that was highlighted locally was the potential smell from the facility. Indeed approximately 260 objections were made regarding this facility. This decision may well be appealed to An Bórd Pleanála by some or all of these objectors. 

Example of a Biogas facility. Credit: Biogas Magazine