I see by my local paper (The Carrick Times) that you think that Kilroot would be a good site for the proposed chicken waste incinerator. Have you asked the people of Carrickfergus for their views on this matter. Your chairman states that “As it stands this proposal would destroy the Face of Lough Neagh, Harm local wildlife, decimate the business of local farmers and put at serious risk high level manufacturing businesses in the locality. This seems to me to be a serious case of Nimbyism, any where but near us. Do you think there is no wildlife or bird flocks on or near Belfast Lough, farmers and businesses in or near Kilroot. We already have a large power station which is a blot on the landscape and I can see the chimney belching out its smoke when I draw the curtains in the morning. This is happening so that people in your area can light their houses. make a cup of tea. and get a shower before starting off on whatever it is they do during the day. Would you be prepared to do without electricity so that we can have our pristine shores of Belfast Lough back.
Fred (full name and e-mail address supplied)
Michael High, CALNI Vice-chair responds.
Thanks for taking the trouble to send in your comments following the article in the Carrick Times. We are always at the mercy of the press and they often boil down a complex issue into something that is far from accurate. The trouble is that we read what they write with the benefit of all the background information. It comes as a bit of a shock to us when we see how the reports are read by the general public. So I can see where you are coming from. I am also familiar with the Carrick / Kilroot area as I use to work at the Solectron plant there.
Let’s be clear about one thing. We don’t want a new chicken litter incinerator to be built at Kilroot or anywhere. We have three objections to the Rose Energy proposal. It is the wrong technology, on the wrong site and is based on wrong economics. We think incineration is the wrong approach. There are alternative technologies that have not been adequately evaluated. Even if burning the stuff does prove to be the right solution, there is no need to build another incinerator. Kilroot is a 520MW power station. The Rose Energy plant is a 30MW plant. We don’t need the electricity it might produce. However, the chicken litter could replace a small amount of the coal and oil burnt at Kilroot. This would not increase the emissions from Kilroot, but it would save the farms and feeding grounds in the Glenavy area from damage. The Renewable Energy Association has already run a project at Kilroot to evaluate co-firing with biomass (see http://www.r-e-a.net/installations/kilroot-power-station).
The government has stated that new thermal power generation plants should take advantage of combined heat and power systems. CALNI has given several examples of locations where this can be done, Kilroot being one of them. We also think that the Kilroot and Ballymena sites have better road links than the rural location of the Rose Energy proposal for Glenavy.
Our concern over economics is that Rose Energy want at least £30M of our money as tax payers to help build this thing. With things like the necessary road improvements and even the connection to the electricity grid left out of their costings, the final bill for this incinerator will be even higher. We are sure that at least one of the alternative technologies can be accommodated on a number of much smaller industrial sites at little or no cost to the public purse. If Stormont has £30M to throw around, I’d much rather see it spent on environmental improvements to Belfast Lough than on a large incinerator. And yes, I am taking steps to cut down the amount of electricity I use!
Thanks again for writing.