In yesterday’s Prime Time, Paul Cunningham revealed that there is a break clause in the contract between DCC and Covanta. The write-up is here, and it is about as informative as the broadcast.
Under certain, unspecified conditions, either party is free to walk away tomorrow. Not having seen the contract, I can only guess that a ministerial campaign against government policy is not among those conditions.
Does this change the calculus of the desirability of incineration of Poolbeg? Two arguments have not changed. We’re still in breach of the landfill directive, and the alternatives to incineration are expensive and will take a long time to plan and build. Two other arguments would change their importance. We may need to pay less compensation to Covanta, but the signal “Ireland: Closed for business” would be louder.
It may of course be that both parties have invested so much already that they have no desire to walk away.
Cue the green trolls.
UPDATE: The Dublin City Council says that RTE’s report is incorrect. IWMA says the taxpayer will pay 2 billion euro for the incinerator.