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Irish Cement fuel switch receives council approval

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World Cement,

Irish Cement has been granted planning permission for its plans to switch to burning alternative fuels at its Mungret cement plant, in Limerick, Ireland. According to local news reports, Limerick City and County Council approved the plans, subject to 16 conditions.

The Mungret plant, which is Ireland's longest-established cement plant, currently burns petcoke and coal, but is proposing to begin cofiring waste-derived fuels in a €10 million conversion project. According to the company, the switch would reduce the plant's carbon emissions by up to 40 000 tpy.

"Irish Cement welcomes the decision by Limerick City and County Council of their intention to grant planning permission for the fossil fuel replacement programme at the Irish Cement factory at Mungret," Irish Cement said in a statement. "This is an important project, as Limerick is the last remaining cement factory in Ireland to start a fossil fuel replacement programme. This practice has been in use in cement plants across Europe for 40 years and also successfully in Ireland for the past nine years."

The company added that it "now look forward to the licence decision by the EPA later this year, which, if successful, will pave the way for the Limerick factory to gradually reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels."

The project has however been controversial among local residents concerned about the environmental impacts of the project. Commenting on the council’s decision, local action group, Limerick Against Pollution, said the council had “blatantly disregarded the will of the people of Limerick”, in a Facebook post, and promised continued protest against the plans.

Addressing these concerns, Irish Cement said that it was "firmly committed to continuing our engagement with the local community to provide further information and reassurance."

The decision to grant permission came in a brief statement from the council, who added that no further statement would be made on the matter.

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