This morning, the first phase in the €23m Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme is being officially opened in Kilkenny. One of the chief aims of the water scheme is to attract industry, especially pharmaceutical and food companies, to set up in the south east of Ireland, spurring on new jobs for the region.
This morning the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD is opening the first phase, along with IDA Ireland’s chief executive Barry O’Leary and the chairman of Kilkenny County Council Councillor Paul Cuddihy.
The new water scheme will service 240 hectares of industrial land around Belview Industrial Park.It will also allow for the building of 10,000 additional houses in South Kilkenny and Waterford between now and 2031.
Belview is four miles from Waterford City and 37 miles from Kilkenny City. It features zoned land, including the IDA land bank, the Marine Point Business Park and Belview Port, which is the nearest deep water Irish port to mainland Europe. Two thirds of the Irish domestic market lies within a 160km radius of Belview.
Jobs and the south east
The scheme itself is part of the Invest Kilkenny initiative, launched by the Kilkenny local authorities in 2010 to promote the area as location for business. When all phases are complete, it will represent a total spend of €23m.
The total investment for this phase of the scheme is €13m. Invest Kilkenny said today that a significant amount was provided by IDA Ireland and the balance by Kilkenny County Council and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The first phase can now provide 3,300 cubic metres or 725,000 gallons of water per day, primarily for industrial and enterprise use and also for the people of South Kilkenny.
When the scheme is fully completed, 15,000 cubic metres or 3.3m gallons of water a day will be available, of which 9,000m³ or 2m gallons will be available for industrial use.
Wastewater treatment plant
The water supply infrastructure is also being matched by a wastewater treatment plant provided at a cost of €37m by Waterford City and supported by IDA Ireland.
Minister Phil Hogan said this morning that the water supply scheme would facilitate the development of "water-intensive industries" in the Belview Industrial Park, which he said was ideally located as a gateway to the greater Kilkenny/Waterford region.
He said the water supply scheme would not only benefit the industrial needs of the area, but indicated that it would also alleviate of pressure on householders in the area who have had to bear the brunt of water shortages over the past few years.
On the industry side, IDA Ireland’s CEO Barry O’Leary said that today is a "key milestone" in terms of the promotion and development of the south east region and IDA’s landbank at Belview.
"The development of this Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme better enables IDA to compete on a global scale for capital intensive advanced manufacturing projects for the Belview site," he said.