Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Laboratory steps up campaign against biomass plant

A company manufacturing medical testing equipment is to step-up its opposition to plans for a new power plant.

Chief Executive of Randox Laboratories Peter Fitzgerald has claimed plans for a biomass energy plant near Glenavy could threaten the future of his base in Crumlin.

But while the Department of the Environment today said a decision has yet to be made on the plans of Rose Energy to build a plant fuelled by products including poultry litter, Randox said it will now be seeking a meeting with Minister Edwin Poots.

Rose Energy rejected claims its proposed plant could pose a threat to the work of Randox and said it was confident of the viability and safety of its project.

Mr Fitzgerald said the plan may eventually force the company out of Crumlin to its manufacturing plant in Donegal, or other locations, at a cost of millions of pounds and threatening hundreds of jobs.

Randox said it produces diagnostic kits for use in hospital, clinical and veterinary laboratories to diagnose for dysfunctions, diseases and environmental pollutants.

"Our manufacturing processes are very sensitive to environmental conditions and so anything which endangers that, endangers the business," said Mr Fitzgerald.

"We can't have the fumes from a bio-mass energy plant anywhere near our operations and so we urge the minister to reject this application."

He added: "Our five-year business plan conservatively includes an additional 354 jobs and they will immediately be at risk if the application succeeds."

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