Company behind controversial Waimate energy plant yet to complete consent application

The company behind a Canterbury waste-to-energy plant proposal is still yet to complete a consent application it first filed 18 months ago.

South Island Resource Recovery Limited (SIRRL) wants to build the plant in Waimate, and said it would generate energy from processing 365,000 tonnes of rubbish annually.

If it goes ahead, it will be the first plant of its kind in the country.

The consents were first filed to Canterbury Regional Council and Waimate District Council in September 2022.

But they were returned twice for being incomplete.

Almost a year later, in August 2023, the application was called in by the then environment minister, which meant the consent decision will now be made by the Environment Court, not the local councils.

It was called in for being “a proposal of national significance”.

At the time, the minister ruled the application could proceed without a missing water take application and cultural impact assessment.

More than six months on, both were still incomplete and nothing had been lodged with the Environment Court.

SIRRL director Paul Taylor said a water take application was yet to be lodged because further drilling was required for it to be finished.

“SIRRL is still working through some issues relating to the requests for further information from the councils,” he said.

“It will still be a few months until the application is notified.”

A cultural impact assessment was also outstanding, but no reason was given for the delay.

The company was 60 percent internationally owned and had to apply to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to buy the land for the plant.

The OIO originally said a decision was likely due in November 2023, but confirmed in January that the application was still being processed.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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