SFPC has undertaken the preparation of a masterplan in order to promote and support the provision of port infrastructure and services in the Shannon Estuary over the next 30 years. The masterplan looks specifically at growth and expansion options and consideration of non-core assets at its facilities at Foynes Port and Limerick Docks.
SFPC needs to be able to adapt to the continuous fluctuating business environment that exists and needs to be able to positively respond to potential investment opportunities in the region. It needs to ensure that the Port of Foynes and Limerick Docks will be ready and able to handle larger trade volumes efficiently and competitively when the opportunities arise and in doing so realise the economic potential of the natural resource that is the Shannon Estuary.
The masterplan is part of a bigger picture for the Shannon Estuary as SFPC develops its vision for the future and focusses on the positive promotion of the Port as a strategic economic driver for the Mid West Region.
The approved Masterplan can be viewed here:
The related Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitat’s Directive assesment can be downloaded here:
Significance of Existing Port Facilities:
SFPC facilities on the Shannon Estuary are of national importance and this is reflected in the fact that 35% (CSO 2010) ofIreland’s bulk traffic now transits the Estuary, making SFPC the largest bulk port in the country and the second largest port based on tonnage. SFPC handles the largest vessels entering Irish waters, and handled in excess of 10 million tonnes of cargo in 2011 (an increase of 8% between 2010 and 2011) and 20% of total goods traded into and out of ports in Ireland in 2011. Recognised internationally and nationally as one of the three core ports on theislandofIreland, SFPC’s location provides for a highly accessible port with good road connectivity and rail access which shall be available in the short term. Its central location on the west coast facilitates efficient distribution to internal markets and ensures a highly accessible port.
Drivers of Growth:
The location of SFPC on the Shannon Estuary, an international gateway that is recognised at a national level as being fundamental toIreland’s economic prosperity and global trading links is a key driver of the company’s growth strategy. Recognising that thePortofFoynesis the only Port in theRepublicofIrelandcapable of accommodating Panamax and Post Panamax vessels with a dedicated rail line, places SFPC in a pivotal position going forward and highlights the need for strategic planning and investment in the future.
The strategic development of SFPC is focused upon driving growth across all sectors but in particular in the areas of solid and liquid bulk goods and break bulk cargo. Entry into new sectors and expanding existing sectors in line with international and national growth forecasts, including biomass, energy, offshore renewables, waste to energy and recycling are also key targeted growth areas. In driving economic development SFPC encourages more “added value” business to its facilities through a number of initiatives including development of single and multi user port centric logistics and development of more customer-focused operating practice.
In addition to driving more added value activities across the Port, there are a number of key strategic business drivers within the period of Vision 2041, focused around three key objectives including expansion, promotion and management. These include:
- Significant expansion and infrastructural development in the deepwaterPortofFoynes;
- Promoting non core assets in Limerick Docks for alternative port / non port related activities; and
- Managing the natural attributes of the Estuary and its destination as an Ocean Energy Hub.