Written Answers. - Construction of New Peat Fired Power Station.

Robert Molloy

Question:

29 Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the notification, if any, received from the European Union Commission regarding its agreement to provide financial support towards the cost of constructing and commissioning the proposed peat-fired power station in the midlands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8928/95]

Michael McDowell

Question:

39 Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the notification, if any, received from the European Union Commission regarding its agreement to provide financial support towards the cost of constructing and commissioning the proposed peat-fired power station in the midlands. [8930/95]

Peadar Clohessy

Question:

56 Mr. Clohessy asked the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications the notification, if any, received from the European Union Commission regarding its agreement to provide financial support towards the cost of constructing and commissioning the proposed peat-fired power station in the midlands. [8929/95]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29, 39 and 56 together.

At a meeting which I had with the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Madame Monika Wulf-Mathies, on 12 April 1995 agreement was reached on the provision of financial assistance of £21 million from EU Structural Funds towards the construction of the new station.

At that meeting, the Commissioner and I signed a joint memorandum of understanding setting out the conditions for the provision of £21 million for the construction of the new station.
The conditions set out in this memorandum concern the achievement of job targets outlined in the power station feasibility study, the development of certain cutaway bogs as wetlands and the use of the latest state-of-the-art proven technology in the operation of the station. In addition, in order to ensure that there is an overall reduction in CO 2 emissions from all peat fired plants, the Commission has also asked that a programme be agreed with the ESB and Bord na Móna for the phased closure of the older peat stations as they reach the end of their operational lives and for the refurbishment of other stations in order to improve efficiencies from an operational and environmental perspective.