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Written Answers. - Company Closures.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 173. Mr. Stanton Information on David Stanton Zoom on David Stanton  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  further to Parliamentary Question No. 162 of 5 November 2002, if her attention has been drawn to the fact that under planning register reference number 1523/74 of Cork County Council, the then owners of the IFI plant at Marino Point in Cobh were obliged, under planning condition No. 34 of the aforementioned permission, to furnish a bond or other security in approved form and in an approved amount for (i) the taking down and removal of all plant, equipment and installations in the event of the complex having ceased to function as an ammonia-urea complex and (ii) the reinstatement of the site to agricultural or other such use as may be agreed with the planning authority; her responsibility, as shareholder and major owner of the plant, in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23679/02]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney I am advised that the then owner of the Marino Point site, Nitrigin Éireann Teoranta, NET, furnished a bond to Cork County Council dated 7 February 1977 in connection with the planning permission given for the site – reference No. 1523/74. I am also advised that in accordance with the asset purchase agreement between NET and IFI dated 2 October 1987, IFI assumed full responsibility for the performance, payment or discharge of certain liabilities of NET, including any liabilities of NET in relation to the property at Marino Point. Furthermore, while IFI held its interest in the Marino Point site under a lease from NET until 2000, IFI exercised an option at that time to acquire NET's interest in the site.

In the circumstances, it would appear that responsibility for the compliance with the planning permission granted, including the bond [201] required under condition 34, rests with IFI. Thus, as I advised the House in response to an earlier question from the Deputy on 5 November 2002, ref. 20329/02, responsibility for the site, including any obligations in relation to its clean up, will continue to rest with the company, even when it is in liquidation. In this regard, the fact that the site has a significant value should ensure that any remedial works required will be carried out by the liquidator or by any new owner of the site.

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