Dublin City Council have announced that an ESRI report will refute claims that the Poolbeg incinerator is not economically viable. This report will be published next Tuesday.

The council commissioned the report in response to a study carried out by the Irish Waste Management Association which said there was not enough demand to justify the minimum of 320,000 tonnes needed to make the plant viable.

Assistant City Manager Seamus Lyons told the council 's environment committee that the ESRI has calculated that waste in Dublin will increase by about 4% a year.

The Irish Waste Management Association's report calculated that it would be 0.5%.

An international review commissioned by Environment Minister John Gormley also recommended a change in waste policy including a cap on the amount going for incineration.

But Assistant City Manager Mr Lyons said Poolbeg is 'totally in line' with existing government waste policy and the council is now in a contractual situation with the operators Covanta/Dong.

He defended the 'put or pay' clause by which the council guarantees the operators 320,000 tonnes of waste annually and said this type of guarantee is not unusual in public private partnerships.

Mr Lyons pointed out that 1.2m tonnes of waste was collected by the four Dublin authorities in 2008 and with 25% earmarked in future for incineration the council would to meet the 320,000 target considering that private operators will also be using it.

He said two private operators are already in talks with the Poolbeg operators who hope to have the plant open in three years time.

The plant is being built with a maximum capacity of 600,000 tonnes but Mr Lyons said it would be 'folly' to make it smaller as the country already had a number of projects it had to retrofit within a relatively short time.