Written Answers. - Bog Development.

298.

asked the Minister for Energy if, arising from the reply to a parliamentary question on 15 February 1979 he will state in respect of land acquisition for bog development under the Third Development Programme: (a) the approximate area of bog land acquired near each of the 13 locations referred to in the previous reply; (b) the approximate area covered by compulsory purchase orders but not yet acquired at these and other locations; (c) the area planted to date for biomass development and the immediate planting programme; and (d) the position regarding the biomass incinerator and the harvesting machinery, having regard to the economic and social aspects of the national understandings.

I have been informed by Bord na Móna that the information sought by the Deputy is as follows: (a) The approximate areas of bogland acquired in each of the 13 locations in which development work in connection with the Third Development Programme is being carried out are:

THIRD PROGRAMME WORKS

Location

approx.Acreage

Derryfadda, Cos. Galway and Roscommon

14,879

Mountdillon, Cos. Roscommon and Longford

8,750

Littleton, Co Tipperary

6,690

Athlone Group, Cos. Roscommon and Offaly

10,396

Boora, Co. Offaly

7,771

Derrygreenagh, Co. Offaly

3,731

Bangor, Co. Mayo

2,400

Ballydermot, Co. Kildare

1,370

Coolcraff, Co. Westmeath

1,200

Garrymore, Co. Laois

564

Gilltown/Prosperous, Co. Kildare

1,531

Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath

817

Ballivor, Co. Meath

1,450

Total

61,549

(b) The making of a compulsory order is the final stage of the acquisition process. Therefore, any lands which are under compulsory purchase order are deemed to have been acquired by the board. The Deputy may, however, be referring to land for which the board have indicated that they are considering the making of an acquisition order but which has not yet been acquired. The approximate total area of such lands is 9,820 acres. It is not possible in the time available to give a figure for these lands for the 13 locations referred to in the question. If the Deputy wishes to put a question on this in two weeks time I will be happy to make further inquiries.

(c) A total of 300 acres of biomass have been planted by Bord na Móna to date, about half at Clonsast and the remainder at Oweninny. Their five year biomass programme, which commenced in April 1979 entails the planting in each of the five years of 200 acres of the board's cutaway with hardwood species for harvesting on a four year rotation.

In addition to this the Department of Fisheries and Forestry have planted a total of 150 acres of virgin blanket bog at Bellacorrick with single stem conifers. That Department's five year biomass programme, which also commenced in 1979, involves the planting of 100 acres a year with single stem conifers for harvesting on a seven year basis.

(d) The ESB are conducting tests at present aimed at finding the most suitable type of biomass incinerator for the board's purposes. Bord na Móna have awarded a contract to Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teo. for the design and construction of a biomass harvester. The first prototype is expected to be ready for testing later this year. These two projects are basically at the research and development stage and the existing manpower resources of the ESB and CSET are employed in this work.

299.

asked the Minister for Energy the approximate expenditure in the energy field by Bord na Móna in each of the past five years on (a) agricultural experiments and development, (b) biomass experiments and development and (c) other experiments and developments.

I have been informed by the board that their approximate expenditure in the past five years on (a) agricultural experiments and development, (b) biomass experiments and development and (c) other experiments and developments in the energy field is as set out below:

(a)

(b)

(c)

agricultural experiments and developments

biomass experiments and development

other experiments and developments in the energy field

£

£

£

1976/77

166,923

1977/78

26,033

1978/79

83,349

1979/80

89,594

99,206

1980/81 (expenditure to date)

49,775

58,676