In a business world of fierce competition, the proposal will secure more competitive and sustainable energy for Bombardier and help ensure it continues to operate successfully in global markets.
The site, adjacent to the Bombardier wing facility within the Belfast Harbour Estate, will convert 120,000 tonnes of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) comprising non recyclable fractions of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste per annum into electricity and heat. This is through the gasification process which heats the waste to produce a synthetic gas fuel which in turn is used to produce steam which creates electricity.
The application is an Article 31 planning application, that is, one of such a large scale that the Minister makes the decision whether to approve or reject.
Mark H Durkan said: “This is good news for Bombardier’s workforce of 6,000. The new plant will help Bombardier to reduce electricity costs, maintain its competiveness within international markets and safeguard employment. The facility will also provide a boost for the local economy creating up to 130 construction jobs in the short term and around 20 permanent skilled jobs once completed.
“While I am keen to increase the amount of waste which is recycled, there is still a need for facilities to deal with waste that is not recyclable.
“I recognise the need for Energy from Waste opportunities and of alternative, more environmentally sustainable energy plans. This facility will draw value from waste which cannot be recycled, preventing it going to landfill and instead will use it to generate energy.
“This proposal is a win for the environment and a win for the economy and achieves the right balance in planning terms.
The Minister concluded: “My aim as Environment Minister is to build a better environment and a stronger economy. This decision, an important boost for one of our leading businesses, will help do that.”