Shannon Foynes Port, Ireland’s second largest port operator and largest bulk port company, has statutory jurisdiction over all marine activities on a 500km2 area on the Shannon Estuary, stretching from Kerry to Loop Head to Limerick City.
Adjacent to the world’s busiest shipping routes, with current capacity to handle over 10 million tonnes annually and with water depths of up to 32m, we are uniquely positioned to expand as an international cargo hub serving the domestic, European and worldwide markets. This expansion will be accommodated by up to 1200 hectares of land available for Port development.
News & Events
18 October 2023
Shannon Foynes Port Company hosting Five Days of Events for the Annual Irish Port Safety Week
14 September 2023
RTE NATIONWIDE FOYNES PROGRAMME
05 September 2023
ESB and Shannon Foynes Port announce support for floating offshore wind research at UCCStarting in September, the focus of the research will be to examine the requirements and identify potential sites for wet storage, which is the temporary offshore storage of floating offshore wind turbines in suitable areas prior to installation. This is a key requirement for facilitating floating offshore wind, which will be a fundamental technology in Ireland reaching its offshore renewable targets. The research will take place over two phases. The first phase will consist of understanding the key conditions and constraints associated with the development and identification of suitable wet storage sites, while phase two will focus on the technical challenges of designing sites in terms of the optimum layout and mooring configuration. The aim of the study is to identify and inform considerations for the future FLOW industry that are required at an economic, environmental, societal and policy level in Ireland and also, to set a benchmark for best international practice through close academic and industry collaboration. Ronan O’Flynn, ESB Programme Director for Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint, said: “We understand the importance that floating offshore wind projects are going to play in both Ireland achieving its ambitious renewable energy targets and ESB delivering on our commitment to reach net zero by 2040. Research such as this, carried out by our partners MaREI and supported by Shannon Foynes Port, will help the entire industry to better understand what is required for crucial wet storage facilities that will allow floating offshore wind projects to be delivered at scale.” Pat Keating, CEO at Shannon Foynes Port, said: “Our partnership with the ESB on funding this research will help underpin understanding in the key area of wet storage, in which Shannon Estuary will be a major provider of as we go about harvesting the unprecedented opportunity for not just our region and state arising from floating offshore wind. Because of the estuary’s existing deepwater ports at Foynes and Moneypoint, wet storage space and available land for large-scale industrial development, we are one of few locations in Europe that can manufacture floating turbines at the scale necessary for commercialisation.” Dr Jimmy Murphy, Funded Investigator in MaREI and Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering in UCC, said: “This project will be an important enabler for the emerging floating wind energy sector in Ireland and will allow strategic planning decisions to be made related to the efficient deployment of floating windfarms. MaREI has a track record of research and development in floating wind and welcomes this collaboration with ESB and Shannon Foynes Port to address the challenge of identifying potential wetstorage locations and optimising design layout.” Ireland's offshore wind energy potential arising from our Atlantic seaboard winds is among Europe’s leading renewable energy opportunities. With a maritime area more than seven times the size of its landmass, ideal wind conditions, and strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean's edge, floating offshore wind generation can deliver up to 30 gigawatts of energy by 2050 – six times more than current domestic electricity demand. MaREI will provide the research expertise along with the various tools required for the study which is aligned with their core research principles. ESB and Shannon Foynes Port will provide funding support and industry knowledge for the study which is in line with ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy and Shannon Foynes Port’s Vision 2041 masterplan.
11 July 2023
Link to Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce ReportThe report was launched by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Eamonn Ryan (Minister for Transport), Simon Coveney (Minister for Enterprise & Trade) and Norma Foley (Minister for Education). View Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report MP4 video commissioned by DETE
15 May 2023
ESB and Shannon Foynes Port to deepen partnership as transformation of Shannon Estuary into international green energy hub gathers pace
• Organisations commit to work in tandem to develop region into a major centre for the deployment of floating offshore wind projectsnot at pace required for such an opportunity
The opportunity to transform the Shannon Estuary into an international renewable energy hub has been further validated today by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ESB and Shannon Foynes Port, the company with statutory jurisdiction over all marine activities on the estuary.
The MOU aims to support the transformation of Shannon Estuary and surrounding areas into a major centre for the deployment of floating offshore wind projects in Irish and International waters.
In the agreement, Shannon Foynes Port and ESB have committed to working closely together to maximise the unique potential of the Shannon Estuary thanks to its mix of deepwater, development lands, low-lying shoreline, and proximity to what is one of the world’s most consistent wind resources off Ireland’s west coast.
The MOU follows the publication late last year of Shannon Foynes Port’s Vision 2041 masterplan for the wider estuary, which set out a clear strategy to transform the estuary into one of the world’s leading green energy hubs. It identified three key growth areas for the estuary, namely delivering floating offshore wind at international scale, green industrial development transition, and expanded, diversified and more sustainable logistics services.
ESB is currently undertaking a multi-billion-euro redevelopment project at its Moneypoint site to include significant amounts of offshore wind coupled with the production of hydrogen and other green derivatives. As an enabler to the Green Atlantic @ Moneypoint project, an offshore wind construction hub will be developed which will facilitate the fabrication and assembly of floating offshore wind platforms.
The MOU is in line with the identification in Shannon Foynes Port’s masterplan of the development of four core facilities at the estuary to support the delivery of floating offshore wind at scale. These included substructure assembly at Moneypoint, as well as turbine integration and pre-commissioning at Foynes port, wet storage at various locations within the estuary and an Operations & Maintenance base also at Foynes.
Shannon Foynes Port’s plans centre on the development of a new deep water port at Foynes Island, which will be linked directly to the national transport network via a direct restored rail and new road link.
Under this MOU, the parties will collaborate to ensure that ESB’s Green Atlantic@Moneypoint project and the port authority’s projects will be developed in a coordinated manner in the national interest with a common goal of maximising the opportunity for the estuary and wider Mid-West region.
Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works and the Gaeltacht, Patrick O’Donovan TD, said: “As Ireland continues to develop transformational renewable energy projects in order to meet our ambitious climate action targets, I am delighted to be here today to see the plans that ESB and Shannon Foynes Port have to realise the potential of the Shannon Estuary and wider region as a hub for clean energy.”
Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Niall Collins TD, said: “This MOU is a welcome commitment that is aligned with Government’s climate action targets and demonstrates the importance that renewable energy projects, such as floating offshore wind, will play in Ireland’s clean energy future. I look forward to seeing how this partnership will help transform Shannon Estuary into a renewable energy hub that will be recognised worldwide.”
Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Kieran O'Donnell TD, said: “Offshore wind will play a crucial role in Ireland achieving its climate change ambitions so I am delighted to be here today to welcome this agreement between ESB and Shannon Foynes Port. This will not only bring significant social and economic benefits to the Mid-West but it also places Shannon Estuary at the centre of Ireland’s renewable energy transition.”
Paul Lennon, Head of Offshore Wind and Hydrogen at ESB, said: “We are delighted to partner with Shannon Foynes Port to help deliver on our ambitious plans for floating offshore wind. As ESB transforms its generation portfolio with projects such as Green Atlantic@ Moneypoint, this collaboration builds on our commitment to delivering renewables projects in the Mid-West region. It is an important step in ESB’s efforts to deploy the latest technologies and infrastructure as we play a crucial role in Ireland’s transition to net zero.”
Shannon Foynes Port CEO, Pat Keating, said: “As the maritime authority for the Estuary, we are focused on ensuring the unrivalled opportunity arising from one of the world’s best wind regimes and proximity of our deep waters is maximized for the national interest. The ESB through its Green Atlantic@Moneypoint project is a key constituent in the transformation of the wider estuary and we look forward to doing whatever we can to ensure this essential project is realized.”
Ireland's offshore wind energy potential arising from our Atlantic seaboard winds is among Europe’s leading renewable energy opportunities. With a maritime area more than seven times the size of its landmass, ideal wind conditions, and strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean's edge, floating offshore wind generation can deliver up to 30 gigawatts of energy by 2050 – six times more than current domestic electricity demand.
The MOU supports the Government’s Climate Action Plan. While non-exclusive in nature, the agreement sets out both organisations’ intention to work together for the benefit of achieving Irish offshore renewable energy targets, in line with ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy and Shannon Foynes Port’s Vision 2041 masterplan.
12 April 2023
Power for delivering on Ireland’s “greatest opportunity”, floating offshore wind, must move to Dept. of Taoiseach
Delivery not at pace required for such an opportunity
Ireland targets 5GW by 2030 but has 100 times capacity of Germany, which targets 40GW by 2035
Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Responsibility for harnessing “the greatest opportunity in the history of the State” - floating wind energy generation on the Atlantic seaboard – should be handed to the Department of the Taoiseach, a gathering of renewable industry experts has heard.
The consensus from industry experts at University of Limerick for the regional launch of renewable energy pioneer Eddie O’Connor’s book Supergrid Super Solution – co-authored with journalist Kevin O’Sullivan – was that while the opportunity for environmental, economic and social transformation from Europe’s best wind resource is unprecedented for the State, the pace of delivery is alarmingly slow.
The Airtricity and Mainstream founder and champion of the European Supergrid concept through his SuperNode Ltd company was supported in his call at the event for shifting responsibility to the Department of the Taoiseach for realising Ireland’s opportunity to become one of the world’s leading renewable energy players.
“We have an opportunity now that is the greatest in the history of the State. Ireland has the capacity to supply 10% of Europe’s power by 2050 and much more beyond that. Right now, we’re not too dissimilar to the Middle East in the 1940s when it began its oil and gas journey. That has made nations like Saudi Arabia global financial powerhouses and that’s what Ireland can become. The big difference is our energy is green and it’s the solution the world is waiting for.
“By way of example, we have 100 times more offshore territory than Germany and far greater winds and yet they have an ambition for 40GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2035, with 1GW alone enough to power 1 million homes. Our ambition in Ireland, by comparison, is to deliver 5GW by 2030. So, what does that say?”
To accelerate pace of delivery here, Mr O’Connor said that responsibility needs to move to where the power is, the Taoiseach’s office. “What we must do straightaway is get over the bureaucratic inertia. We need real power to be brought to this equation. And to me, the Department of the Taoiseach and the chief civil servant there is where the power rests and where this must be delivered from. The Department has the power to tell secretaries in other departments what to do. Power used benignly, in the interests of the long-term goals of Ireland, is the great function of the department of the Taoiseach.”
He continued: “We've proposed this move and I think we're getting there. If you compare Ireland now with what it was like five years ago, we've moved a gigantic distance, but we need to move another gigantic distance.” Regarding his proposal for a European Supergrid, Mr O’Connor said: “You can't decarbonise without a super grid. Where are the resources? The resources are here in Ireland. They're not in Germany. They're certainly not in Poland, not in Eastern countries of Europe. They don’t have the resources, we and the Mediterranean, with its solar opportunities, have. So, let’s link it together and we have a perfect, limitless bank of energy with incredible synergies. When the sun isn’t shining, the wind is generating and vice versa.”
Mr O’Connor’s comments were roundly supported at the event. Said Dr. Val Cummins, Ireland Director at Simply Blue Group: “The fundamental question is how can we progress faster? This is a massive opportunity in terms of floating offshore, in terms of port development, in terms of grid, the transmission system and alternative routes to market. There's so much work being done on all those elements. But fundamentally, this work needs to be matched by a system of delivery.
"There’s an industry view that we're not managing to deliver. And I think Eddie O’Connor's recommendations in relation to transforming the architecture of the system, such that it's fit for purpose to deliver, is a key point. We showed we could do it for COVID. That was a crisis at that time. Climate continues to be a crisis. And I think the take home is it's time for action to prime floating offshore wind.”
Said John Fitzgerald, CEO of SuperNode: “The ambition to do 30, 40 or even 70 gigawatts off the West Coast is not matched by government mandates on the agencies they direct. So, until they're joined up, we're really going to struggle to realise the potential.”
Said Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company, which has maritime responsibility for the Shannon Estuary, which will be a key staging post for development of the floating offshore wind fields: “We have a huge resource on our doorstep here, climate action is happening so we have an obligation even more so than an opportunity. Other countries that don't potentially have the same offshore opportunity as us will locate the supply chain in their countries and we lose out then on the big value-add opportunity and literally tens of thousands of jobs. This is just too big for us as a nation not to grab but time is not on our side actually and we need to get moving.”
---End---The Supergrid Super Solution book is available from SupergridSuperSolution.com and good book shops online and offline. The Press Pack can be downloaded from SupergridSuperSolution.com . This also includes this news release, a two-page summary of the book, the book cover, photos of the authors and a 16-page summary of the book’s key points. For further information or to arrange an interview with Eddie O’Connor, contact: Philip McCann t: 00 353 86 075 7936 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
13 December 2022Government’s backing for Shannon Estuary vision an essential vote of confidence – Shannon Foynes Port Monday, December 12, 2022: Shannon Foynes Port has welcomed government backing today of the Shannon Estuary as a premier location for offshore renewable energy as well as a transport hub for Ireland. The publication of the Interim Report of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce has identified how the region can play a leading role in the transition to renewable energy by generating and accelerating the increase of floating offshore wind energy from 2030, as well as becoming a hub for Sustainable Transport Technologies and a western “Digital Gateway” to Europe. The report identifies investment in the port of Foynes and ESB’s Moneypoint terminal, a new auction for floating wind generation in 2024, the development of clean energy such as green hydrogen, solar energy installations and anerobic digestion facilities. In addition to the Estuary becoming an international renewable energy hub, the report also identifies the potential doubling of tourism numbers through outdoor sports and adventure, business and leisure events, and cruise ship arrivals. Commenting on the report and government backing of it, Shannon Foynes Port authority Chief Executive Pat Keating: “This is an emphatic and welcome vote of confidence from Government in the transformational potential of the estuary and a key moment in the journey towards the emergence here of a global renewable energy hub and national transport hub. “We have been making the case here at Shannon Foynes Port for some time in relation to the potential of the estuary but, as per its welcome today for the Interim Report of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, the government is unambiguous in its support around the vision for the Estuary.” Mr Keating added: “In our recently updated Vision 2041 masterplan by global experts Bechtel, we set out a roadmap for the estuary as a renewable energy hub of international scale as we set about harnessing Europe’s best wind regime, which exists on the west coast. That’s the prize for this region and for Ireland, one that can transform our economy and our climate change journey. “We have a lot of work to do to make it happen, not least through investment in road, rail and port infrastructure. However, the backing today from government is a huge and essential statement of intent that we very much welcome.” Ends
16 November 2022Shannon Foynes Port welcomes Limerick to Foynes rail reinstatement Tuesday, November 15, 2022: Shannon Foynes Port Company Chief Executive Pat Keating has welcomed that the arrival of the first consignment of tracks at Foynes Port for the reinstatement works for the Limerick to Foynes rail as another positive moment in delivering on the unprecedented opportunity for the transformation of the Shannon Estuary into a global floating offshore wind energy and Irish supply chain hub. “Just ten days ago we launched our updated masterplan Vision 2041, setting out why the Shannon Estuary is best placed in Ireland and Europe to develop the Atlantic floating offshore wind industry and identified, among many other elements, the reinstatement of the rail link to Foynes as a key piece of supply-chain infrastructure for realising this opportunity. To be here less than a fortnight later watching the first tracks for the rail reinstatement programme loaded onto our port is a really positive signal of the intent around our plans. The enormous opportunity here will not be delivered without the support and involvement of key stakeholders. Iarnród Éireann is one of them and we are delighted to see this project getting underway.” Mr Keating added: “The regeneration of the Limerick to Foynes rail line is, along with the Adare to Foynes road, one of two key transport links essential for delivering on this incredible opportunity for the estuary. Not alone will it be crucial to the supply chain for the transformation of the estuary into a floating offshore wind generation supply-chain hub but it will enable Foynes Port to add substantial freight capacity to the national supply chain at an uncongested point in the national transport network and help unburden pressure on the congested Greater Dublin Area network.” Shannon Foynes Port has itself played a central role in the rail reinstatement project, securing €800,000 from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility for a Feasibility and Detailed Design study in 2015. The Vision 2041 report, which was launched by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD, by international experts Bechtel set out a roadmap for Shannon Foynes Port to lead in helping Ireland meet its net zero obligations by 2050. The masterplan found that the Shannon Estuary would also contribute significantly to Europe’s efforts, through its REPowerEU plan, to unwind its dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports and accelerate the expansion of renewables. The full report can be downloaded here Vision 2041 Link. The potential electricity generation from the enormous renewable energy resource of the west coast winds can, the report estimates, deliver 30 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2050 - six times more than existing domestic demand. Significantly, this energy would also kick start a new industrial ecosystem based on the production of carbon free green electricity, hydrogen and derivatives, which will be transformational for Ireland by way of use for domestic electricity and e-fuels, electricity exports, and e-fuels exports. At peak, up to 120 floating turbines would be installed offshore per year. The economic impacts would also be far reaching with thousands of jobs created and billions of euros invested in supply chain and route-to-market infrastructure and facilities around the region. Ends
09 November 2022We’ve reached a milestone at Shannon Foynes Port, not just for ourselves as a port company, the estuary or wider region but also the nation and, indeed, Europe, with the launch of our updated masterplan Vision 2041 by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD last week. The report, which was carried out by global experts Bechtel, supports the development of offshore wind and explains how the deep waters of the Shannon Estuary - almost unrivalled in a European context - would not only facilitate the deployment of floating offshore wind at scale from Europe’s best wind regime on Ireland’s west coast but help decongest the Irish supply chain through the provision of road and rail linked container services. Here's a video that synopsizes the huge significance around the opportunity here. https://vimeo.com/769033766
04 November 2022Masterplan puts Shannon Foynes Port on course to become international floating offshore wind energy hub Shannon Estuary has capacity to become major European logistics and trade centre, as well as contributor to Irish economy – international experts state Bechtel delivers port masterplan supporting Ireland’s emerging offshore wind industry Friday, 04 November 2022: The Shannon Estuary presents a unique opportunity and is best placed in Ireland and Europe to develop the Atlantic floating offshore wind industry and help the country reach its climate goals, according to a new report. The review of the Shannon Foynes Port Company’s Vision 2041 masterplan by global experts Bechtel supports the development of offshore wind and explains how the deep waters of the Shannon Estuary, almost unrivalled in a European context, would not only facilitate the deployment of floating offshore wind at scale from Europe’s best wind regime on Ireland’s west coast but help decongest the Irish supply chain through the provision of road and rail linked container services. It found that development of the Shannon Foynes Port would play a vital role in helping Ireland meet its net zero obligations by 2050. It would also contribute significantly to Europe’s efforts, through its REPowerEU plan, to unwind its dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports and accelerate the expansion of renewables. The potential electricity generation from the enormous renewable energy resource of the west coast winds can, the report estimates, deliver 30 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2050 - six times more than existing domestic demand. Significantly, this energy would also kick start a new industrial ecosystem based on the production of carbon free green electricity, hydrogen and derivatives, which will be transformational for Ireland by way of use for domestic electricity and e-fuels, electricity exports, and e-fuels exports. At peak, up to 120 floating turbines would be installed offshore per year. The economic impacts would also be far reaching with thousands of jobs created and billions of euros invested in supply chain and route-to-market infrastructure and facilities around the region. The report is structured around three main drivers for future growth and expansion:
- Delivering floating offshore wind at scale
- Green industrial development and transition – facilitating alternative fuels (“e-fuels”) production
- Expanded, diversified and more sustainable logistics services
- turbine integration and pre-commissioning at Foynes Deepwater Port
- substructure assembly at Moneypoint
- wet storage at various locations within the Estuary
- Operations & Maintenance base at the Port of Foynes.
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