27/06/2003

Australian company shelve lignite plans

The Australian company behind plans for a major lignite mine site in Co Antrim have shelved the idea.

Auiron Energy said they had been unable to find a partner for the £500m Ballymoney project which was set to create 1,500 jobs during construction and a further 300 posts once the mine was up and running.

In a statement released today, the company said: "Discussions with several prospective European power partners since late 2001 have not led to any immediate commercial arrangements. Whilst the Ballymoney Project has a place as part of Northern Ireland’s future energy solution, the ongoing capital commitments are significant and the timing remains uncertain."

The company said it had decided to write off the A$15 million already spent on the project.

(MB)

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