Plans for a hydro-electric power station in Co Tipperary published

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Plans for a hydro-electric power station in Co. Tipperary has been published.
The plant will cost in the region of €650 million and its aim is to generate 360 megawatts of electricity – enough to supply 200,000 households.

The plant will be developed from the existing disused open-cast mining site, where operations ceased in 1993, south of Silvermines village in North Tipperary.
The investment will be provided through a joint venture by a number of European construction companies and Irish construction company, Roadbridge as well as developer Siga Hydro.
The process will begin with a detailed feasibility assessment and consultation programme with the local community before moving to an 18-month to two-year planning process which will begin later this year.
According to Minister Alan Kelly, the four-year construction phase will create up to 400 jobs, the bulk of which, he maintains, will be local. 50 permanent jobs will result from the project.
Announcing the project today, Minister Kelly said that it will contribute more than €2.5 billion to the national economy in the course of its lifetime and will also advance the environmental rehabilitation of the area through the decontamination of the existing reservoir and end the seepage of harmful minerals into local water tables.