A proposed power plant for the Lumcloon area of Offaly is set to bring with it 500 jobs.
Lumcloon Energy Ltd, the Consortium of two Irish Companies R&R Mechanical Ltd and Terotech Ltd, intends to build an Independent Power Plant and a Research & Development Centre for a new Air Cooled Condenser (MACC™) at Lumcloon.
Lumcloon Energy Ltd expects to have financial closure on this project with an estimated investment of €350 million by mid 2009.
While 500 jobs will be created during the two year construction phase, 30 full time jobs are to be created once the site is operational. Meanwhile 60 high jobs will be created in the Research & Development Centre for a new Air Cooled Condenser (MACC™).
The 11 acre brownfield site for the proposed Power Plant is located on the R357 road, approximately 8 km south of Ferbane, 20 km west of Tullamore and 30 km south of Athlone.
Previous to this the site served as Ireland's first 80 MW Milled Peat Fired Power Plant operated by ESB from 1957 to 2002 when it was demolished.
There are still four 110 kV pylons connected to the grid, two of which are shortly due to be upgraded by to 220 kV.
Current Planning Permission was granted to the ESB and consists of four gas turbine peaking units (30 MW each) operating just in peak time producing 120 MW of electricity.
The plan is to create a 350 MGW station, 100MGW of which will be created through wind energy.
Promoters of the project say they hope the new power station will deal with blackspots which happen during busy times during the day in Tullamore.
They added that the new plant will compliment the new state of the art gas powered station on the site of the former Ferbane Power Plant.
Promoters have also said that all construction equipment will be locally sources.
"We are working in Middleton on the Whitegate Project and Middleton is booming. It will help the local economy," said a spokesperson.
He said that with things quiet locally in trades such as bricklaying the new project will offer a lot of employment opportunities.
The Plant will consist of two generating units, a 250 MW Combined Cycle Unit, running continuously flexible unit consisting of two gas turbines and one steam turbine and a 100 MW Simple Cycle Unit, a reserve/peaking unit supporting wind energy power plants in the event of a rapid fall off in wind generation.Gas Turbines in both units will be fuelled by natural gas with diesel as a reserve fuel.
This Plant will also be the first to use a new, more efficient design for condensing steam produced at the Plant back into water. This is a local design that will use less energy than the prevailing state of the art.
To make the public more aware of proposed developments at the plant, local information evenings will be held in Lumcloon and Ferbane. Anyone wishing to contact the company for more information can do so on 057 932 37 38.