A proposed biogas plant for Gort in Co. Galway could lead to water restrictions within the town, and may impact future developments according to the Gort Biogas Concern Group.

In a statement, the group said that An Bord Pleanála has recently requested further information from Sustainable Bio-Energy Limited, the company behind the plant.

This further-information request sought confirmation from the company that the Gort Public Water Supply has adequate capacity to meet the plant’s water demands.

“What we know from Irish Water is that the Gort water supply is, even now, at capacity,“ said Ciaran O’ Donnell from the Gort Biogas Concern Group.

“The proposed Gort biogas plant will seek an additional 120 million litres per year to feed its digesters, equating to an average of a massive 328,000L/day,” he said.

From Irish Water’s capacity register, a projected increase over 10 years of 36,000L/day will require investment in the Gort water supply infrastructure, according to the group.

“The plant’s peak demand will be at silage-cutting time – 65% of the plant’s feedstock will be silage – and we could see peak water demand at the plant rise to 650,000L/day,” said O’ Donnell.

“There is absolutely no capacity for this in the Gort water supply. We fully support the board’s request for clarification here as, once again, the Gort biogas applicants have absolutely no details of their water capacity analysis or impacts.“

Locals believe the granting of permission by An Bord Pleanala will leave the town with water restrictions and even impact future residential developments.

“The pending decision on the Gort biogas plant has been delayed over a year past the given decision deadline and the communities of Gort and south Galway anxiously await a decision that could have a significant impact on their future,” the Gort Biogas Concern Group said.