Naughten slams Minister’s approach to power stations

Independent TD Denis Naughten has criticised the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan this week for his ‘hands off’ approach to the potential future use of the Lanesboro and Shannonbridge power stations.

Deputy Naughten was speaking after questioning the Minister in the Dáil on Thursday last.

Deputy Naughten said that TDs were told a month ago that a review headed by the ESB to look at alternative uses of the two power plants is recommending the demolition of both buildings. This was in spite of the fact that both plants have ten years of operation remaining.

“While Minister Ryan failed to acknowledge this fact, it is clear from his admission in the Dáil that international consultants are being brought in to confirm the conclusions of the demolition report in order to provide him with political cover when it is formally published,” Deputy Naughten said.

“He did however admit that there will be investment in electricity grid management at both sites which will have to be paid for by electricity customers, and this is a direct result of having to replace the grid stability provided by these two power stations.

“Again, hard pressed families struggling to pay electricity bills will be footing the bill for the demolition of the power stations and the replacement technology.

“We have seen the mistakes that were made in the past with the demolition of our two sugar plants in Mallow and Carlow, which I argued against at the time. Do not let us repeat the mistakes we made in our sugar industry. Do not let these power plants be demolished until all possible alternatives have been fully explored,” Deputy Naughten concluded.