Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Strategic Plan: Bord na Móna
I thank Mr. Quinn and the delegation from Bord na Móna for their presentation. They have outlined several great opportunities for the future in terms of growth and job creation. In the context of Bord na Móna's core business, are all the areas in its remit currently in operation and are they all excluded from all European designations which impact on other areas of the country?
In regard to biomass, I understand the concept of growing willows and carrying out thinnings. Are the remnants left behind after a clear felling considered harvestable biomass? What involvement does Bord na Móna have with Coillte in this regard? Is Bord na Móna taking all branches and remnants from Coillte? In many of the sensitive environmental areas where there are coniferous plantations, there is an environmental issue in terms of pine and spruce needles and so on getting into lakes and waterways. It is good for the environment to remove them. Are all plantations being gathered for biomass use?
In terms of importation, where is Bord na Móna sourcing biomass, how is it being transported and how economical is it in the long term? Mr. Quinn referred to the need for a portfolio approach in regard to renewables. Is this in light of the possibility of future mergers with sections of Coillte?