Bord Na Móna workers hold "positive" meeting with climate Minister

SIPTU sought an urgent meeting with Dennis Naughten over job concerns

Bord Na Móna workers hold "positive" meeting with climate Minister

File photo: RollingNews.ie

Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten confirmed his support for the future of employment at Bord Na Móna.

The Minister and SIPTU representatives for the company met last week to discuss the challenge of job creation from the planned reduction of carbon emissions in different industries.

Mr Naughten confirmed that his department, with the Department of Agriculture, is working on developing a financial package to encourage farmers to grow willow and eucalyptus that can increase the supply of biomass for power stations currently dependent on peat production.

"The Minister confirmed that his department, with the Department of Agriculture, is working on developing a financial package to encourage farmers to grow willow and eucalyptus that can increase the supply of biomass for power stations currently dependant on peat production," SIPTU organiser John Regan said.

Three power plants in Offaly and Longford employ 1,300 people.

The uncertainty arose from a High Court decision to order the Edenderry peat-fired power plant to cease operations from the end of February 2017.

Bord Na Móna's original planning permission to burn peat to produce power at Edenderry expired at the end of 2015.

It was extended to 2023 by Offaly County Council on foot of an initial planning application in 2013, which was confirmed by An Bord Pleanála in 2014.

The planned reduction of damaging carbon emissions in different industries is estimated to affect 24 million works across Europe over the coming years.