Derrinlough briquette factory

The Derrinlough briquette factory was a briquette manufacturing facility in County Offaly, Ireland, opened in 1957. It ceased production on 26 May 2023.

History edit

The factory was constructed by Bord Na Mona from 1957 to 1959, near Birr in County Offaly. Production started in 1959 and it was officially opened in 1960. Part of the cost was financed by a £500,000 loan from Guinness[1] in addition to other borrowings.

The original briquette factory in Lullymore was unable to meet market demands by the 1950s as it could only produce about 40000 tonnes per annum even after modifications.[2] Plans were advanced for two new factories, one located in the Derrygreenagh group of bogs in east Offaly and a second in the Boora group in west Offaly. Construction of Derrinlough started in 1957, with Croghan starting soon after. Derrinlough began production in late 1959 with its official opening in 1960.[3]

The Derrinlough facility has a design capacity of 135000 tonnes per annum. It is the last peat briquette factory in operation in Ireland (Lullymore closed in 1991, and Croghan in 2000, while the newest factory, in Littleton, closed in 2018).[4] Production of peat briquettes is due to finish in Derrinlough in 2024 [5] but due to poor quality raw material stocks and issues with plant reliability, the closure was brought forward to June 2023.[6]

The briquette factory was scheduled to close in 2024, in line with Bord Na Mona's "Brown to Green" strategy. The board has started construction on a 21 turbine 126 mW wind farm[7] in early 2022.[8] There are some other proposals for the reuse of the factory site but no plans are at an advanced stage at the time of the plant's final shutdown.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ Oireachtas, Houses of the (May 1, 1957). "Committee on Finance. - Turf Development Bill, 1957 —Second Stage. – Dáil Éireann (16th Dáil) – Wednesday, 1 May 1957 – Houses of the Oireachtas".
  2. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? - Ryan Tubridy Episode - The Peat Industry in Ireland". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Brief History of the Peat Industry in Ireland". Living History.
  4. ^ "Closure of peat briquette factory a blow to Tipperary". Irish Times. May 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Cowen says briquette factory to remain in production until 2024". Offaly Independent. February 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "Briquette production in Offaly ends this year - Irish Today". March 8, 2023.
  7. ^ "Derrinlough Wind Farm Planning".
  8. ^ "Major windfarm work to start". Offaly Independent. June 10, 2022.
  9. ^ Fanning, Derek. "Push to locate new Anaerobic Digester at site of soon to close factory in Offaly".

53°11′03″N 7°52′36″W / 53.1841°N 7.8767°W / 53.1841; -7.8767