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  • Southside

Chamber welcomes €80m upgrade to Ringsend plant

Thursday, 1st March, 2018 8:00am
Chamber welcomes €80m upgrade to Ringsend plant

The revamp of the Ringsend plant is required to ensure the city continues to function.

Chamber welcomes €80m upgrade to Ringsend plant

The revamp of the Ringsend plant is required to ensure the city continues to function.

BUSINESS group Dublin Chamber has welcomed the news that work has commenced on an €80m upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Chamber said the improvements will help ensure that Dublin has the infrastructure needed to support the type of population growth that is forecast over the next decade.

According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: “The revamp of the Ringsend Plant may not be a sexy project like a new motorway or railway line, but it is an example of the type of investments that are required to ensure that Dublin continues to function.

“Dublin’s water infrastructure has suffered from massive underinvestment over the past 30 years.

“The result is that while people take good water and wastewater services for granted, Dublin's ailing infrastructure is on a knife-edge on a daily basis.

“We are now playing a game of catch-up to upgrade and infrastructure and ensure that both current and future demand can be supported.”

In 2012, An Bord Pleanála granted permission to Dublin City Council to upgrade the plant, to increase its capacity based on technologies available at the time and to build the tunnel.

The plant was built in 2005 to treat wastewater for the equivalent of 1.64 million people.

Currently it services more than 40 per cent of the national population – treating wastewater for the equivalent of 1.9 million people and operating at 20 per cent over capacity.

The upgrade will take about two years to construct and accommodate current demand, support planned housing and economic growth in the Dublin region and improve the quality of treated wastewater discharged to the Liffey estuary.

Irish Water managing director Jerry Grant said it is a priority project that is vital for future social and economic development in Dublin.

Dublin Chamber has warned that the certainty of water supply and waste water treatment is a major concern for Dublin – and a threat to the competitiveness of “Ireland Inc”.

Ms Burke said: “Resilient water infrastructure is essential for Irish businesses in planning for the future.

“It is also a strategic issue for any potential foreign direct investment.

“Sewage treatment capacity is also a limiting factor for population growth in Dublin City and suburbs as well as other regional cities.

Pollution from waste water effluent, especially in Fingal, makes Dublin a much less attractive location for international businesses and international talent.

“Waste water infrastructure projects must be prioritised in Dublin and other strategic urban areas to resolve this problem and to expand treatment capacity.”

Dublin Chamber is now calling on the Government to commit to funding a new water source for Dublin and the Eastern and  Midlands Region when it announces its capital spending plan in the coming weeks.

Ms Burke added: “Water systems in Dublin’s competitor cities typically operate at around 80 per cent capaciyy, while in Dublin this figure is approximately 98 per cent.

“A Stanford University study in 2014 identified Dublin as the second most vulnerable city in the world to water shortages in the future. Not only is more water needed to meet demand, the supplying sources must be diversified so that the region is equipped to deal with external shocks.

“The population and jobs growth targets in the National Planning Framework all point to the need for a new water supply for the Eastern and Midland region.”


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