PHARMACEUTICAL plant Novartis has applied to Cork County Council for permission to use their on-site incinerators to burn materials for other industrial facilities.
The application, which was made in September, is due a decision by the local authority in November.
Novartis, which has a base in Ringaskiddy, operates two incinerators on this Cork site; a liquid vapour incinerator and a solid waste incinerator.
Both were installed to dispose of manufacturing waste generated on-site and heat recovered from the incinerators has been used in the manufacturing process. However, Novartis has reduced processing over the past few years and plans to reduce even more into 2022 which has had a negative knock-on effect.
As a result of reduced operations, there isn't enough on-site waste being generated to power the incinerators and the plant has been burning fossil fuels to generate the necessary heat to continue processing.
For this reason, Novartis has lodged a planning application with Cork County Council to accept liquid and solid hazardous wastes from other manufacturing sites around the country to burn in their on-site incinerators.
In a statement toNovartis Ringaskiddy said: “Novartis is fully committed to a cleaner environment for the benefit of patients, our communities, our associates and all our other stakeholders.
“Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited, due to the planned reduction in manufacturing activity at its site, is applying to Cork County Council for planning permission to allow the company to bring comparable used solvent and solid material on site from other approved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manufacturing facilities in Ireland.”
The Novartis application says that this would supplement the waste lost by the reduced manufacturing, would allow a move away from the burning of fossil fuels and would reduce hazardous waste currently exported from Ireland for treatment and disposal.
Novartis has emphasised that the proposed wastes would be of a type similar to what is already on-site and would therefore be suitable for burning in their incinerators.
“It is important to clarify that this application, if successful, is requesting no change/increase to the type of material, nor to the emissions limits, currently allowed by Novartis’ existing licence. It will simply maintain the status quo.
“Therefore, this proposal does not involve any fundamental change from the present on-site operations, and should provide a more competitive advantage to the business, and a beneficial alternative to the use of fossil fuel on the site.”
Novartis said they were also engaging with “key stakeholders in the community,” such as Cork County Council and the EPA.