Sligo Bio Energy Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the objective of the project?

A. The objective of the project is to construct a Green Energy Bio Park with embedded and sustainable green energy infrastructure, delivering green energy to the town, reducing it´s dependency on fossil fuels, investing in the towns transition to becoming Carbon Neutral, eliminating carbon emissions. These benefits will attract increased investment and employment to the town.

Q. How does this Bio Energy park compare to the previously proposed development?

A. The revised design is smaller in scale and is a move away from a woodchip steam boiler to a woodchip gasification plant that essentially ‘bakes’ the woodchip, thermally cracking it, to produce a rich syngas, a biogas. It is also more modular, with smaller buildings for specific processes, producing carbon neutral green energy products for the town and region. Please refer to the video above that highlights how the various modules on the site are linked and work together.

Q. Does the plant burn biomass?

A. No. This is not a biomass woodchip boiler. It is an enclosed system that converts the woodchip to a rich syngas, a biogas. This a low tier impact development.

Q. Will Agri-waste as used in Anaerobic digestion be stored on-site?

A. No. The system is designed only to use woodchip. There will be no odours associated with the storage of agricultural waste.

Q. What material will be used to produce the bioenergy?

A. Woodchip sourced from commercial forestry harvesting by-products, brash, stumps, pulp, as harvested annually in the region.

Q. Is there enough supply in the region?

A. Yes, letters of intent to supply the required woodchip have been provided in the planning application highlighting that the materials will be sourced from local private forestry farmers, harvest contractors and producer groups.

Q. What green energy products are produced from the woodchip?

A. Green electricity, heating and renewable gas are produced, offsetting an estimated 67,500 tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. Over 15 years, over 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 will be offset. The project uses forest harvest residues in the form of woodchip, from sustainably managed forests in the region, to produce green energy products for the town and region.

Q. What is the renewable biogas used for and is it stored on-site?

A. The renewable biogas will be used in the combined heat and power plant to produce electricity and heating for the town and also as it is produced, it will be filled into trucks, gas tankers and taken off-site for delivery to users or injected into the gas network.

It is a clean advanced biofuel, a substitute for natural gas, LPG & kerosene. It can be used for heating, production processes and transport.

Q.  Will the project deliver heating to other areas of the town, including commercial and residential areas?

A. The Company supports the distribution to residential at a cost and carbon savings to residents, subject to Government policy alignment and stakeholder demand. The company must work within Government decarbonisation policy and support structures, a submission has been made under the Climate Action Fund in respect of district heating to industrial users, as that offsets the greatest amount of carbon emissions. Subject to planning approval, the company would seek to engage with residents to assess the demand for connection and extension of the district heating network from the industrial areas/parks of the town to residential areas. An exemplar project heating a cluster of houses would be supported by the company, highlighting the benefits of transitioning to renewable heating.

Q.  How will the District Heating (DH) work?

A. Subject to planning, insulated pipes are laid along routes of least impact, these routes would first be defined with the local authority and letters of access sought to commence works, advertisements would then be placed in local papers to advise of any upcoming works. The location of the bio-energy park positions it to connect the major energy users with the least impact. In general terms a main pipe is run with branches of smaller pipes branching off to new connection areas, subject to demand.

The heated water in these pipes runs through a heat exchange box installed on the client site (factory, public sector buildings, offices, hotels, houses), it plugs into the existing heating & hot water systems, it does not provide the actual hot water, just the heat, which is transferred across the heat exchange plates to the clients heating and water, eliminating the need to burn fossil fuels.

By starting with the larger heat users, industrial parks, public-sector and hospitality, we remove the most carbon emissions with the least impact. Thereafter the extension of the DH network to other areas will be based on user demand and uptake.

Q. How many trucks of woodchip are required?

A. 24 truck loads of woodchip are required per day. Spread over 8 hours, we will need 3 trucks per hour, 5 days a week.

Q. How many jobs will be created?

A. +200 jobs will be created and composed of: 48 Direct full-time jobs, 100 full-time equivalents in harvesting and haulage and 60 to 80 during construction of plant and district heating.

Shannon Bio Energy Park

3D Video of Proposed Development

Shannon Bioenergy Park Public Information Video
including Q & A Session