200 jobs for Limerick as a result of smoky coal ban
CPL Industries, Europe’s leading manufacturer and wholesaler of smokeless solid fuel products for the domestic heating market plans to have 200 employees in Limerick by 2018.
The jobs come as part of a €22m investment from CPL fuels for a low-smoke and biomass fuel plant.
The company plans to spend a further €15m on transforming waste and biomass into raw materials for low-smoke coal. As part of this process, thousands of tons of olive stones discarded from olive oil plants on the Mediterranean will be shipped into Foynes for use as an ingredient in smokeless fuel. This part of the investment will create a further 60 jobs, of which 40 will be at Foynes, bringing total employment levels at the company in Ireland to just over 200 by 2018.
When both phases are complete, the Foynes plant will be producing up to 450,000 tonnes of fuel a year and will be the largest such plant in Europe.
Minister for Environment, Community, and Local Government Alan Kelly announced the investment and said Foynes now has the potential to become a low-smoke fuel hub for Northern Europe.
“We announced our plans for this investment in 2013 and made no secret since of our dissatisfaction and frustration over the lack of progress on implementing carbon tax relief (for products with minimum biomass content) as well as delays in a Smokeless Ireland designation and planning difficulties,” said CPL chief executive officer Tim Minett.
“We had even begun to look at other options for the facility outside of Ireland, such were our concerns.”
However, he said that with the “arduous planning process now complete” and the carbon tax derogation announced in last year’s budget due to be brought into legislation shortly, the Smokeless Ireland designation was the missing piece in the jigsaw.