Up to 200 Bord na Móna workers to be laid off because of Lanesboro plant shutdown

Bord na Móna has announced its intention to hold meetings with unions over the difficulties posed to employees by a decision to shut down the peat-fired power station in Lanesboro, Co. Longford. The company says it has been forced to lay-off 150 workers – including 72 permanent workers and 78 seasonal employees –  because of the shutdown.

AgriLand also understands that an additional 50 sub-contracting jobs are in the firing line after deputy Michael Fitzmaurice pointed to the fact this morning.

“I am also hearing that up to 50 jobs will be lost when it comes to sub-contract work; this includes lorries involved in haulage, for example,” he added.

Meanwhile, the power station along the River Shannon was closed last Friday, July 5, after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated legal proceedings because it deemed the temperature of cooling water being discharged from the facility into the river to be too high.

In the meantime, Bord na Móna announced that as a direct result of the shutdown it was being forced to lay-off a large number of its workers.

Subsequently, a meeting has been arranged with the Bord na Móna group of unions tomorrow, Friday, July 12.

In a statement to AgriLand, a spokesperson for Bord na Móna said the company acknowledged the “difficulties and impact” the shutdown will have on employees and their families.

A meeting has been arranged with the group of unions for Friday, July 12, to work through this process and review all options.

The spokesperson continued: “It is unfortunate that the company has had to take this course of action and it looks forward to a resolution of the issues at the earliest opportunity.”

Meanwhile, ESB has confirmed that the power station “will remain off-load for an undefined period of time”.

The company said it was experiencing difficulties in complying with its environmental licence obligations – relating to thermal plume – and return to service was now dependent on the decision from the environmental licence review by the EPA.

This unforeseen event has a direct and adverse impact for Bord na Móna operations at Mountdillon including peat supply, bog operations and maintenance.

The spokesperson continued: “Since Sunday, July 7, there is no requirement to supply any peat to LRP; therefore, the energy business unit has no option but to make the decision to cease all operations at Mountdillon works and place all impacted employees on protective notice which is effective immediately.

“Approximately 70 permanent employees will be put on temporary unpaid lay-off from, Thursday July 18, and this will continue until LRP returns to normal operations.

“78 seasonal employees will also be placed on lay-off immediately. The company will provide regular updates to all employees.”