Has an undesirable Special Tax Relief been granted to accommodate Foynes Coal Product Plant?

12th October 2016
Press Release

Did the Minister Finance grant a special tax concession to accommodate a processing plant by the UK coal company CPL Industries at Foynes Co Limerick?

CPL proposes to produce domestic solid fuel "ovids" from a mixture of imported coal and biomass.

The 2016 Budget has introduced a specific exemption from carbon tax of the biomass content of proposed mixed fuel products.

Charles Stanley-Smith of An Taisce stated that "The coal and biomass pellet plant proposed by CPL at Foynes and Bord na Mona’s Edenderry Peat/Biomass co firing, perpetuate unsustainable fossil fuel use. In the CPL case importing coal and importing biomass of potentially dubious sustainability. In Bord na Mona’s case, it also involves the digging up of our finest ‘Carbon Sink’ – the equivalent of chopping down rain forests."

He continued "Investment and support should instead be given to energy efficiency, and non-combustion based renewable energy sources."

There is no confidence in the vetting of imported biomass. The EU accounting of Biomass is under fire from NGO’s – For instance, Transport & Environment Europe report (Note 1) states “We must also consider the potential time delay between release of carbon from biomass burning and its recapturing by plant growth (also known as carbon debt). The payback times range from zero (short rotation plantation in Austria on marginal agricultural land with low carbon stocks) to almost 500 years (forest biomass removed for fire prevention on old growth forest in Western Cascades in US)”.

ENDS

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland
www.antaisce.org

Notes

  1. https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/2015%2001%20biomass%20ets_rating_FINAL.pdf

About An Taisce

An Taisce is a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's natural and built heritage. We are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. We are not a government body, semi-state or agency. Founded in 1948, we are one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations.