A major €22 million investment and jobs boost for west Limerick is in the pipeline following the announcement last week of CPL Industries’ plans to build a new state of the art biofuel plant at the Port of Foynes which will create 142 jobs. CPL Industries is a UK based company that is Europe’s leading manu-facturer and wholesaler of smokeless solid fuel products for the domestic heating market.

CPL Fuels Ireland entered the Irish solid fuel market in 2011, and the Board of CPL Industries has, as a result of the recent ban on the sale of smoky coal, agreed to proceed with a proposal to invest €20 million in the creation of a new biofuel plant.

The plant will employ approximately 100 people when fully operational, with 42 additional people in sales, distribution and plant maintenance while 150 people will be employed in the construction of this new facility.  The company hopes to have the plant operational by 2015.  The plant will also have a need for approximately 80,000 tonnes of biomass when in full production, and initial discussions have commen-ced with growers about how this need can be met, by developing biomass production over the next few years in Ireland.

The announcement at the press conference attended by Minister Phil Hogan and Minister Michael Noonan has been widely welcomed.

“The decision by CPL Fuels Ireland to base this manu-facturing plant in Foynes is a strong endorsement for Limerick county, and a clear indication that the area is an ideal location for investment. The company is the largest manufacturer of smokeless solid fuel in Europe, and it is a very positive development that a firm of this calibre has chosen to locate here” stated local Fine Gael T.D. Patrick O’Donovan. “As well as the creation of the 142 full-time sustainable jobs, about 150 will be created during the construction phase over the next 18 months. The creation of almost 300 jobs will be a major boost for Foynes, and should have a very positive impact on the area,” stated Deputy Dan Neville.

Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins welcomed the announcement, saying: “The announcement by CPL is a significant boost to Limerick and coming on the same day as the launch of the Limerick 2030 initiative, it gives the county a much needed lift. I hope the investment by CPL in Foynes will lead to a lot more jobs down the line and with Northern Ireland also planning to ban smokey coal by 2016, there is huge potential for the company.”

The announcement was also welcomed by former T.D. and Foynes native Michael Finucane, who is currently a director of Shannon Foynes Port Company.