Offaly planners have agreed to extend planning permission for a planned gas fired electricity generating station at Lumcloon until 2020.
Lumcloon Energy Ltd were given planning permission for the project in 2010 by An Bord Pleanala, and looked to Offaly planners for an extension on that in late April this year.
The project is ready to begin, but speaking to the Offaly Independent John Gallagher said the start button can’t be pressed until contract details have been finalised with EirGrid.
The project planned for the site of the old Ferbane power station is expected to provide some 500 construction jobs over a 30-month period, and has a 297.2mw allocation from the Commission for Energy Regulation.
Lumcloon Energy Ltd has in the past accused EirGrid of delaying the project, and looked to the Single Energy Market (SEM) committee to insist on a clear timetable to complete the DS3 programme that will allow Lumcloon to proceed.
“It’s still a waiting game,” Mr Gallagher explained. “The plant is basically ready to begin, but until details of contracts are finalised it’s impossible to press the start button.”
Mr Gallagher said details yet to be unveiled include pricing arrangements on how the plant will sell into the system. “The decision we’re waiting on isn’t specifically related to Lumcloon, but it impacts on it,” he explained. “It has been due and due and due but hasn’t yet emerged.”
Mr Gallagher said there is some hope however, with latest news suggesting an announcement on the issue is expected next month. “In the meantime the project has to be kept on hold,” he said.