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
27 July 2021
Shannon Foynes Port Company sees out year of unprecedented challenges with solid performance.A strong final quarter and prudent cost management saw the country’s largest bulk-port and second largest port company, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), deliver a solid performance in the face of COVID-19 and Brexit impacts, its 2020 annual report reveals. The sound underlying operational strength of the company saw tonnage reduction mitigated to just 1.9% year on year, despite the unprecedented challenges arising from COVID-19, which heavily impacted core markets such as the construction and transport sectors. The company reported an operating profit for 2020 of €3.3m (2019: €3.9m) and profit before tax of €3.1m (2019: € 4.9m). Turnover decreased by 7.6% to €12.9m (2019: €14.0m). SFPC’s €1.8m year-on-year reduction in profit before tax was against the backdrop of the 2019 figure including a non-recurring profit on sale of fixed assets of €1.4m, the report notes. The performance was, however, underpinned by robust cash management and cost control measures in response to the pandemic. Accordingly, costs were reduced, as evidenced by returning EBIDTA margin of 42.9% (2019: 43.3%) and reporting EBITDA of €5.6m (2019: €6.1m). Capital spending was also reviewed and deferred in certain instances. In addition, the company, for the first time in its history, is in a net cash position as cash balances now exceed gross debt. In line with the onset of COVID-19, Q2 saw the largest negative impact on related cargoes and throughputs but a final quarter surge, which saw the company exceed performance year-on-year for the same period by 10.1%, resulted in tonnages overall close to parity with 2019. “Given the aforementioned circumstances, we believe this is a solid performance, particularly in the contest of the fixed cost nature of port operations,” CEO Pat Keating stated. Mr Keating stated that Brexit had little or no impact on 2020 performance, with the last-minute Brexit deal bringing certainty and being welcomed by the agricultural sector - an important sector for SFPC. However, it is clear from recent issues around the Northern Ireland protocol that Brexit risks remain, while the energy sector, particularly security-of-gas supply, is directly impacted by Brexit. This is a national issue and confounded by our country’s extensive reliance on electricity generation from gas, he said. Despite the very challenging year, the company remains very much on track with its Vision 2041 strategy launched in 2011. “Since 2011 tonnage at our general cargo terminals, and accounting for the Covid19 2020 contraction, increased by 45%. Over the 10year period from 2010, net assets have increased by 245% to €47.0m (2010: €19.2m), with annual net operating cashflow increasing by over 180% over the same period. Indeed, we are of the view that Vision 2041 projections could be considered conservative in light of projected population growth and climate action requirements.” The port company has, he said, a major role to play in relation to the latter as it is widely recognised by the offshore renewable sector as having significant comparative advantage. “SFPC’s harbour, the Shannon Estuary is a unique natural resource as it is the only waterbody in Ireland and one of the few across Europe that can facilitate the largest ships. With new ship builds trending ever larger this advantage is now becoming much more relevant than heretofore. Accordingly, there exists real potential to develop the Estuary as a maritime deep-sea hub,” he said. Original projections as per the company’s Vision 2041 masterplan could now be considered “on the conservative side of the scale” and among the target areas for growth include organic growth, establishing the Shannon Estuary as an Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub for floating offshore wind energy, facilitating alternative fuel transhipment/production (Hydrogen, Ammonia, LNG), establishing a logistics and global transhipment hub at Foynes and implementing the Limerick Docklands Strategy. However, key infrastructure required for this to happen will include the Limerick to Foynes road scheme, the need for which “cannot be emphasised enough”, said Mr Keating. Other investments required will include the Limerick to Foynes rail line for freight use; provision by SFPC of new port capacity, including jetty extension, new quay side set down and enabling works for 90 acres of port storage and warehouse facilities; advancement on the Limerick Docklands Strategy. Chairman David McGarry said that the Five-Year Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025, developed last year, has identified capital expenditures totalling €45.5million to develop port facilities. Looking forward, the chairman said that climate action momentum continues to build in favour of the port. “Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean’s wind and wave resources and its many other comparative advantages, the port is very well positioned to facilitate coastal Atlantic offshore energy developments and was strongly supported in this by the sector during 2020. We continue to focus on and facilitate the positioning of the Port as a marshalling port for Atlantic offshore renewables.” Another objective is to implement unitised services from Foynes, with population growth freight demand associated with population growth set to put enormous incremental pressure on the existing unitised supply chain in Ireland. The commencement of new services from/to Foynes will, on completion of the Foynes to Limerick Road Scheme, provide new unitised capacity to the national supply chain within two hours travel time of roughly 40% of the country’s unitised market. “The Port therefore can play an increasing role in moving freight to Europe and beyond and help alleviate the transport congestion around Dublin and redistribute economic well-being throughout the country.” Ends
26 May 2021During the ESPO Conference Regatta 2021, eight ports received their Port Environmental Review System (PERS) certificates during a special ceremony. ESPO congratulates all the certified ports on their exceptional achievement. For more details click on the following link PERS CERTIFICATION AT THE ESPO CONFERENCE REGATTA 2021
09 April 2021Shannon Foynes Port Company says ESB-Equinor Moneypoint announcement will trigger era of unprecedented opportunity and growth Friday, April 9th 2021: Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) has today welcomed the ESB-Equinor joint-venture for Ireland’s largest land or sea based wind-farm and an associated hydrogen plant at Moneypoint as the start of an unprecedented and transformative opportunity for the region and nation. Responding to today’s announcement of the multi-billion investment, SFPC Chief Executive Mr Keating said that it validates the enormous potential of the Shannon Estuary and west coast as a global renewable energy hub and the efforts of the port authority and other stakeholders to promote this opportunity over recent years. “This is a hugely positive day for ESB and Equinor but also for everyone who has been working tirelessly over recent years to promote this unprecedented opportunity for Ireland. We have one of the world’s great energy renewable resources, with the Atlantic wind resource considered amongst the best in the world. But we now finally have the wherewithal to use it because of the advancement of floating offshore wind technology and hydrogen generation. Put these elements together and we have the resource, the technology and base to transform Ireland into one of the world’s leading renewable energy locations,” he said. Mr Keating continued: “Today’s announcement is for 1,400MW of floating offshore wind and a green hydrogen production facility, which is huge in its own right. But we see it as just a start, albeit a critical and very impressive one. Last December we published a report estimating that the available wind resource of the west coast can generate up to 70GW of floating offshore wind energy, which is multiples of what we require as a nation, and it also identified potential for large scale hydrogen generation. So today is a brilliant beginning in realising that potential. “The sustainable development of this renewable resource will allow Ireland to meet its climate action targets not only for energy generation but also, in time, in the carbon intensive transport sectors. In addition, due to the scale of the Atlantic wind resource and for the first time in its history, the country could become a significant global renewable energy exporter. This will deliver a lucrative new revenue stream for the exchequer while transitioning to a low carbon economy.” Mr Keating said that the opportunity will also help achieve national targets for balanced economic development. “The opportunity from floating offshore renewable energy installations here on the west coast and the huge supply-chain potential that will come with it will deliver the type of balanced economic growth that Project Ireland 2040 rightly aspires to. For example, our report launched last December conservatively estimated that up to €12bn in associated supply chain investment could be located on the Shannon Estuary by 2050.” Said SFPC Chairman David McGarry: “If we grasp this opportunity in the way that today’s announcement indicates we will, we are potentially looking at tens of thousands of jobs right up and down the west coast. A very significant concentration will be here on the Shannon Estuary thanks to our deep-water port, which is essential for supply-chain activity, but the opportunity really is limitless for the wider western seaboard. “As the statutory authority for the Shannon Estuary, we look forward to working closely with both ESB and Equinor to make sure that this new era gets the best possible start as this very exciting initial off-shore floating wind and hydrogen generation plant investment takes hold.”
07 December 2020To view this study click on the following link 20163-R-001 Shannon Estuary Offshore Wind Rev2
07 December 2020Shannon Estuary and West/South coast potential to become global floating offshore wind hub - major study reveals Ireland can become major exporter of energy, producer of hydrogen and international research centre of excellence Monday 7 December 2020: An unprecedented renewable energy opportunity for Ireland, the Shannon Estuary and the south and west coasts has been unveiled in a major study. The Offshore Wind Potential Study - commissioned by Shannon Foynes Port Company - by specialist geotechnical engineering consultancy Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd. (GDG) identifies the potential, through capitalising on our unique wind resource and deep-water port, to turn the State into an exporter of energy and generate unprecedented job creation in the process. As the floating wind sector is currently in its infancy, there is no well-established supply chain and this represents an opportunity for Ireland to be first movers in the floating wind sector, the report states. The report estimates €12billion investment into the Estuary by 2050 under a medium growth scenario and without including export potential to other markets. The opportunity is a confluence of the emergence of floating offshore wind technology as the biggest growth area for renewables globally, the Irish west coast having among the best wind resources in the world and the unrivalled deep waters of the Shannon Estuary – a key asset and component for the manufacturing and industrial ecosystem necessary to support the global scale floating offshore wind farms The report estimates that the available wind resource can generate up to 70GW of floating offshore wind energy and identifies not alone the export opportunity from excess electricity generated but also for green hydrogen produced from the offshore wind farm sites. “With investment into the Shannon Estuary, there exists huge potential to develop world-class and innovative facilities aimed at growing the floating offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector allied to the manufacturing potential in the Shannon Estuary. Therein exists the potential of dramatically reducing the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE),” the report states. It finds that Shannon Foynes is best placed to service the future offshore floating wind market. This is due to the proximity to resource and market; availability of the deepest watercourse in Ireland and one of the deepest and most sheltered estuaries in the world; extensive future landbank availability; and the existence of Shannon Foynes Port Company as a statutory authority with National Tier 1 port status and European Commission, Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) core corridor status on North/South and East/West corridors and existing 1.6 GW connectivity to our own national grid. “Offshore Floating Wind is rapidly expanding and therefore now is the time to capture the potential from this early-stage sector. Given the timelines to develop the required infrastructure, now is the time to commit the investment and ensure Ireland Inc. capitalises on the global opportunity as first movers in this exciting space. Shannon Foynes Port is the vehicle to maximise the benefits to Ireland Inc. from the floating wind market.” Closer to home, the report identifies the potential to create between 10,000 – 20,000 jobs in manufacturing and a further 10,000 industry jobs arising from four distinct supply chain opportunities – Manufacturing, Staging and Installation, Operations and Maintenance by 2050. Manufacturing could also extend to the preparation and export of component parts further afield to the East coast of USA and into European developments, both onshore and offshore. The study, which was carried out this year, found that the Shannon Estuary is best placed to service the future offshore floating wind market, both the domestic market and as a global exporter of energy and technology. It is, the report states, no surprise that the first Offshore Wind Farm sites in Ireland were all situated on the east coast, as they have fixed foundations. However, as the offshore floating wind technology becomes more efficient and the associated supply chain develops, the west coast of Ireland will become much more favourable. “The total potential capacity on the West coast dwarfs the East coast opportunity,” it adds. However, while floating wind presents an opportunity for Ireland to become a world leader, investment is needed in infrastructure. A large constraint will be the ability of Ireland to connect this resource to the grid and export the excess to other markets, it acknowledges. It also acknowledges the uniqueness of the Shannon Estuary and its potential for Green Hydrogen production, International ship refuelling and export potential of hydrogen and green ammonia. “To facilitate taking a lead in the global market, Ireland needs to apply significant investment in research & development to solve this market barrier along with looking to reduce the cost of floating wind technology,” it states. To this end, the planned International centre of Excellence for Floating offshore wind and its connectivity to our university’s offers a very rare opportunity also. Among the individual challenges that need to be overcome are lack of an overarching Government policy identifying the export opportunity, weaknesses in the planning and consenting process, the construction of new port infrastructure, lack of an integrated approach and other competing countries are getting a head start, such as Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Portugal. Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions’ report pinpoints huge potential for manufacturing facilities to be established in Shannon Estuary. It proposes Foynes Port as a Supply Chain Enterprise Park and the other local authority designated strategic development locations consisting of a total of 1200 hectares on the Shannon Estuary for device and component manufacture and assembly. It states that opportunities also exist for the production of green hydrogen using electricity produced from the new Atlantic offshore wind farms. Welcoming the report, Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port said: “This report quantifies for the first time the unique floating offshore wind opportunity that exists for Ireland and not just for this region. The mix of our world-class wind resources, the natural infrastructure here for a global manufacturing and industry base and climate change adds up to what is an unprecedented opportunity that we must capitalise on. There is already significant interest in this from global energy players and we would anticipate generating a gigawatt of energy by the turn of the next decade. This would very much be a phased programme rivalling anything on an international scale but will transition Ireland to a global renewable energy leader. It will deliver our own energy requirements through renewable resources, replacing fossil fuels in the long term, but will also see Ireland become becoming a significant exporter of energy into the bargain.” Said Chairman of Shannon Foynes Port David McGarry: “A Danish study has recently calculated that every gigawatt of offshore renewable energy produced will support up to 14,600 jobs in the Danish economy. The calculations are easy to do from there and even if we target only half of the estimated 70GW potential off the West Coast, there’s a huge economic and jobs bounce from this as well. This can be transformational for the Irish economy and our environment. Floating technologies are relatively new in the offshore renewables sector and, coupled with the Atlantic’s mean wind speeds of 14m/s, we have global first mover advantage with this.” Said Minister Patrick O’Donovan: “This report underlines the unprecedented opportunity that awaits us now that floating offshore wind technology is ready. It’s only a matter of time before we see its commercial deployment here off the Shannon Estuary given the unrivalled mix here. It is perhaps our greatest ever opportunity and will be transformational with regard to the economic balance on the island of Ireland, spreading huge investment to the western half of the island and delivering on the goals of Project Ireland 2040.” Said Minister Niall Collins: “There’s been a general awareness for some time of potential from floating offshore wind generation for the West coast but this study sets out the scale of the opportunity and it’s unprecedented. It’s incumbent now on all stakeholders to work together to make sure we do what’s necessary to build out this enormous opportunity for Limerick, the region and, indeed, the nation. The economic, jobs and environmental gains are far too great for this not to be realised.” Said Deputy Brian Leddin: “The Shannon Estuary and West of Ireland, as this report shows, has a solution that goes way beyond meeting climate change targets. Our programme for government has already paved the way for this as it has a clear and unambiguous commitment to harnessing the potential of the Shannon Estuary for economic development through renewable energy resources. That opportunity has now arrived. We must now leave no stone unturned in realising this. This can catapult Ireland into the top tier of renewable energy generation and export nations.”
11 September 2020It was a pleasure to brief our Minister of State, attending Cabinet, with responsibility for International & Road Transport & Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton TD on her visit our head office in Foynes yesterday.
31 August 2020Monday 31 August 2020: Shannon Foynes Port recorded a profit before tax for 2019 of €4.9m, up from €4.4m in 2018, its annual report reveals. The record profit was achieved despite an overall reduction in tonnages on 2018 - a record year for tonnage throughput thanks to elevated agricultural inputs arising from the drought-imposed fodder crisis. Speaking on the publication of the report today, CEO Pat Keating said that while there will be short-term tonnage losses due to the reduction in fossil fuel imports, particularly the ending of coal imports for electricity generation stations, the global move to address climate change creates an unprecedented growth opportunity for the company and region. The natural deep-waters of the Shannon Estuary, making it ideal for industry, combined with what are among the world’s most reliable winds off the west coast, is creating the perfect opportunity for the region to become an international green energy hub facilitating offshore floating wind development, he said. The report revealed that since 2011 - the base year of the company’s masterplan, Vision 2041 - tonnage at Shannon Foynes Port’s general cargo terminals have increased by 56%. However, while year-on-year overall tonnage throughput decreased by 10% to 9.6m tons, with reduced imports of coal for electricity generation accounting for most of this reduction, turnover decreased by a lesser 4.6% to just under €14m, down from €14.7m in 2018, highlighting the robust performance of Limerick and Foynes terminals. In the report, Mr Keating said that Foynes, the company’s largest general cargo terminal, recorded its second highest tonnage throughputs ever while Limerick Port continues to facilitate near historically high throughputs. “A positive consequence of our performance in recent years, including for 2019, is that we are now much less reliant on third party terminals for profit and cashflow generation. For example, five years ago third-party terminals accounted for circa 75% of operating profit where today this proportion has reduced to less than 25%,” he said. The port company remains confident, subject to Covid-19 impact, that there are significant opportunities to grow and expand the Port at the operating level arising from decarbonisation and renewable energy. In order to continue the upward growth trajectory of its own terminals, the company has committed more resources to business development and will continue to invest in capacity enhancing infrastructure. Following on from the completion of Phase 1 of its infrastructure investment programme, which cost €12m, the company has received planning permission for the follow-on Phases, II to IV. These phases consist of new quay construction of 117m to join the East and West Jetties, infilling for associated quay set down together with the development of a 38-hectare site at Foynes as a port logistics park. During 2019, detailed design and procurement evaluation was completed for Phases II to IV with construction expected to commence within the next six months. Chairman of Shannon Foynes Port Chairman David McGarry said that while it is early days in the Vision 2041 plan period, the company is very much on track to achieve its growth projections. The Board, he said, developed its Five-Year Strategic Plan 2020–2024, prior to the Covid-19 breakout. “In this plan, we have identified capital expenditures totalling €44.4million to develop our Port facilities. This expenditure is necessary in order to place the Port at the forefront to capture the exciting opportunities that will be presented in the future such as those around decarbonisation and floating offshore wind,” the Chairman stated. Mr McGarry said that the company believes Brexit can see the Port play a much greater role in moving freight to Europe and beyond than heretofore, rather than through the UK. This can help alleviate the transport congestion around Dublin and redistribute economic well-being throughout the country, he added.
13 July 2020It was a pleasure to welcome the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Else Berit Eikeland and her team to Foynes Port today. We discussed how we can build on shipping, trade connections and opportunities between Norway and Shannon Foynes Port. Our Business Development team presented the future plans for the Estuary and the region which continued with a tour of the Port and its facilities.
27 March 2020If you have fever and/or cough you should stay at home regardless of your travel or contact history. All people are advised to:
- Reduce social interactions
- Keep a distance of 2m between you and other people
- Do not shake hands or make close contact where possible
07 February 2020Innovation was in rich supply today at one of Ireland’s great maritime commercial hubs, Foynes, as schools presented ground-breaking concepts for sustainable energy sources of the future at the biennial Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) ‘Compass’ TY competition. Laurel Hill Secondary School walked away with the honours thanks to their ‘Working Waves’ presentation based on generating energy from ships on the move through a pressure pad system that feeds into an electricity generator and battery in the hull. But, as judges highlighted, the competition was the most tightly marked, the most competitive and delivered the highest standards in its six-year history. The Limerick city school, who were presented with their award by Minister of State at the Department of Finance Patrick O’Donovan, was one of five finalists who presented in front of 300 people at the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum today. They walked away with the top prize of the perpetual trophy, a €2,000 cheque for their school and iPads & COMPASS gold medals for each of the team members. All runners up received a COMPASS silver medal and a sailing day on the Shannon Estuary sponsored by the Foynes Yacht Club Sailing Academy. The four other finalists were outgoing champions, Salesian College Pallaskenry, with their concept for harvesting seaweed for biomass production; Coláiste Mhuire Askeaton, who proposed transforming Foynes Island, just 100m or so from the pier at Foynes. into a major wind energy farm; John the Baptist Community College, Hospital with a project called ‘Wishy Washy’ based on a Tidal Turbine Power generating plant on the Clare estuary shoreline; and Causeway Comprehensive School, Co. Kerry with their proposal for a tidal turbine station to power the proposed Shannon LNG gas plant at Ballylongford. Said Laurel Hill team leader Aoife Marie Costello: “We’re just delighted. We put so much work into this, since last September – during class, after school and we’re so happy with ourselves. We were jumping for joy when we won and then it dawned on me really and I started to cry. None of us have ever won anything like this before. It’s a great feeling.” This year’s Compass TY competition was based on the theme ‘Transforming the Waves of the Shannon Estuary – Developing Alternative Energy Opportunities’ and the students responded with what special guest John Kiely, manager of All-Ireland senior hurling champions Limerick described as “brilliant ideas and brilliant teamwork.”
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