General FAQ

A: Waste-to-Energy (or energy-from-waste), is a process that uses household waste (i.e. municipal solid waste also known as MSW), and commercial waste with similar properties, as fuel in a modern largely renewable electricity generation facility. The waste is delivered to combustion chambers where it is combusted at high temperatures and reduced to 10 percent of its original volume. The heat generated from the combustion chambers heats up water in steel tubes that form the walls of the combustion chambers. The water is converted to steam and delivered to a turbine that continuously generates electricity, or is used to provide heat energy where industrial and domestic needs can be served. The Poolbeg facility will be designed, built and operated by Covanta who has formed a special purpose company Dublin Waste to Energy Ltd for the project.
A: The Poolbeg plant will divert at least 600,000 tonnes of waste that is currently going to landfills or being exported. It will generate electricity for at least 80,000 homes, and potentially district heating to the equivalent of another 50,000 homes. The energy produced will help Ireland meet its renewable energy targets. The fuel is indigenous, reducing Ireland’s dependence on imported fuel and it expands the energy market in Ireland, thereby increasing competition.
A: As a large scale development, the project will stimulate substantial economic activity for the local area, the wider Dublin Region and the country. The project will generate economic benefit throughout the supply chain for both goods and services locally and throughout the wider region.
A: During commercial operation, the facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Waste deliveries are only accepted Monday to Saturday, 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. 
A: Waste deliveries will be via the M50 and the Dublin Port Tunnel, except for waste arising from the central area, as defined in the Environmental Impact Statement. Fixed routes have been introduced to limit the impact of the plant on residential areas in the vicinity and along access routes to the development.
A: The facility has a capacity to treat at least 600,000 tonnes per annum of non-hazardous municipal and industrial waste.
A: The waste will primarily come from the Dublin region and also from the newly formed Eastern and Midlands region in which the facility is located.
A: The facility is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and will be required to meet stringent emission requirements in line with any power plant of a similar scale. Air pollution control equipment will be provided that will allow improved performance over the emission requirements of the IED Licence. The Air Pollution Control system implements the very essence of Best Available Technology capable of going well below the present European Requirements. Strict reporting requirements to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will ensure full transparency of the facility’s performance, and summaries of the plant’s emissions performance will be provided on the project website.
A: After combustion, the volume of waste is reduced by 90%, leaving an inert ash and metal. Residues from the process will be transferred to an offsite processing plant. Remaining bottom ash is beneficially reused for the production of aggregate materials and metal is sent to an offsite location where it is recovered and sorted for recycling.  Fly ash collected in the air pollution control equipment is put into silos and removed from site in sealed containers by a licensed contractor.
A: The facility design is based on state-of-the-art conventional thermal treatment technology.
A: The project required planning consent, a waste licence (now an Industrial Emission Directive Licence) and relevant approvals from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). Planning permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála on in November 2007. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) subsequently granted a Waste Licence for the facility in December 2008. The licences from the CER were granted in September 2009.
A: The facility is required to operate in compliance with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) licence issued by the EPA, the planning consent issued by An Bord Pleanála and the licence to generate issued by the CER.
A: Since the inception of the Dublin Waste to Energy project, Dublin City Council has indicated that a Community Gain Fund would be established in accordance with Government Policy to support facilities and services which would be of benefit to the community in the catchment area of the project. The Fund is administered by the Community Liaison Committee and consists of a one-time contribution of approximately €10m made during the construction phase and an annual contribution per tonne of waste accepted for thermal treatment. This contribution will be €1 per tonne from the first year following commissioning of the plant and thereafter will be updated in accordance with the consumer price index.
A: Visit Covanta’s website at to apply to the open positions. If your desired position is not available at this time, we encourage you to create an applicant account and set up a job search agent. All applications are to be submitted online. Covanta is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Commissioning FAQ

A: Yes. Commercial operation is expected to commence in the autumn of 2017.

A: Dublin Waste to Energy Facility is a state-of-the-art plant with thousands of automated systems and processes. In order to ensure reliable operations, the facility will undergo extensive testing of all systems during the commissioning phase. These include:

  • Start-up and testing of line 1
  • Turbine generator start-up and synchronization to the grid
  • Start-up and testing line 2
  • Resync turbine
  • 48 hour pre test
  • 30 day demonstration test

A: After a thorough investigation, it was determined that a gasket was installed improperly on doors leading to the fabric filter baghouse. This led to the release of lime-ash (mainly calcium hydroxide) through a small opening in the door seals which was contained inside the flue gas treatment area.

The contactor responsible for construction and commissioning, Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), has installed new parts and corrected the issue. The door and gasket also underwent further testing to ensure it is properly installed prior to restart.

This was a one-time event that was discovered during the commissioning and testing of the Dublin Waste to Energy Facility. The EPA has confirmed that there was no environmental impact and that there is no danger to the public as a result of this event.

A: At the time of the incident, there were a number of contract workers in an adjacent area. As a precaution in line with regulatory recommendations for steps to take after exposure to hydrated lime, 10 contractors that were working in the area were driven to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation.

A: The material was largely calcium hydroxide, also known as hydrated lime. It is used in the emissions control system to neutralize acid gases from the combustion process.

Calcium hydroxide is also commonly used in the making of many everyday products, including in food preparation.

As a precaution, since calcium hydroxide may have short term impacts such as irritation to the skin and respiratory tract, 10 contractors that were working in the area were driven to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation. They have all been released.

  Lime 3       Lime1

A: The small release occurred inside the flue gas treatment area which is completely enclosed. It was contained within the building and did not escape into the environment. The EPA has confirmed that there was no environmental impact and that there is no danger to the public.

A: We are working closely with the EPA to ensure that the Dublin Waste to Energy Facility will operate to the highest international standards and to ensure the absolute safety of its workers and contractors on site. The matters that are the subject of the EPA action occurred during the early stages of commissioning, and EPA has since given its approval to resume commissioning activity.

We look forward to reaching a formal resolution with EPA in due course.

A: Emissions data will be published on the website in accordance with requirements set out by the EPA. At this stage during commissioning, combustion temperatures are available on the website. Additional data will be posted as the commissioning progresses in accordance with EPA requirements. The data can be found here.