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Your first and last European Port
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
29 January 2024Europe’s largest port Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes to explore development of European green fuels supply chain corridor Agreement signed for maximizing limitless renewable energy generation of Ireland’s west coast and Rotterdam’s supply chain expertise Wind resource off the west coast of Ireland is in excess of 80GW of green electricity, over ten times Ireland’s current national requirement Monday, 29 January 2024: Ireland’s largest bulk port Shannon Foynes and the Port of Rotterdam – Europe’s largest port - have signed an agreement with a view to developing a supply-chain corridor for exporting green fuels into Europe produced from the west of Ireland’s limitless wind resource. The agreement will focus on market and trade development for vast volumes of green hydrogen and its derivatives produced at the planned international green energy hub on the Shannon Estuary. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the ports identifies significant and identified scale-up volumes of Green Hydrogen commencing with proof-of-concept volumes by 2030. Europe’s overall green hydrogen strategy for 2030 is to import 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030 for use in heavy industry and transport sectors that are traditionally reliant on coal, natural gas, and oil. The Port of Rotterdam intends to facilitate volumes of 40 million tonnes from across the world by 2050, a significant proportion of which can come from the Atlantic resource. Further opportunities will also be explored under the MOU, including building coalitions with interested and suitable commercial parties and adding other parties to the MOU to help achieve a joint supply chain process for delivering the first proof-of-concept volumes before 2030. The MOU also provides for engaging relevant public stakeholders to support the initiative and sharing of information regarding the potential supply of green hydrogen and green hydrogen derivatives, such as green ammonia, green methanol, etc, as well as sharing best practice information on areas such as desalination, high voltage electricity, industrial clustering around the H2 molecule and green ship bunkering processes. The two ports will also potentially work together on market development in this new market and jointly finding final off-takers for supplies from Ireland. These would include maritime fuels sector, sustainable aviation fuels, green fertilizer and facilities with direct green hydrogen fuel requirements such as the steel industry. Mr. René van der Plas, Director International at the Port of Rotterdam said, “The port of Rotterdam is already Europe’s leading energy hub and recognises the significance and opportunity for all European citizens and industries arising from the Green Transition. To that end, hydrogen is one of our priorities and we are working hard towards establishing infrastructure, facilities and partnerships that will help deliver on this. “This agreement with Shannon Foynes Port is one such partnership and can support our efforts to set up supply chain corridors for the import of Green Hydrogen into north-west Europe from countries elsewhere with high potential for green and low carbon hydrogen production. Shannon Foynes Port is an ideal partner in that respect.” Mr Patrick Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company said, “With the largest wind resource in Europe off our west coast, we have the opportunity to become Europe’s leading renewable energy generation hub. That will deliver transformational change for Ireland in terms of energy independence and an unprecedented economic gain in the process. In delivering on this, too, we can make our biggest ever contribution to the European project as we become a very significant contributor to REPowerEU, Europe’s plan to end reliance on fossil fuels. “We can produce an infinite supply of renewable energy here and there are already a number of routes to market emerging for that energy. One such route to market is the development of a supply chain into Europe. This agreement with the Port of Rotterdam is a key step towards enabling that. The port of Rotterdam already works on introducing the fuels and feedstocks of the future with major oil and gas companies and its broader port community of over 3,000 commercial companies. It can be a key supply chain corridor for exporting green fuels from the Shannon Estuary into Europe. This is very significant recognition and validation of the potential for hydrogen production generated in Ireland to be exported into Europe.” Mr. Brendan Rogers, Ambassador of Ireland to the Netherlands said, “What a great day as two major ports Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes sign an MOU to cooperate on green hydrogen, one of the key sustainable fuels for a carbon-free and renewable energy future for Ireland, the Netherlands and Europe.” Ends About Port of Rotterdam The port of Rotterdam is a cornerstone of the Dutch and European transport and economic systems. In addition to the significant economic and social value the port holds in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region, it also benefits the logistics sector and businesses that import and export in the rest of the Netherlands and Europe through employment, added value, revenue and business locations. Facts and figures from the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the port of Rotterdam (2022): Port of Rotterdam Authority: approximately 1,300 employees, revenue approximately €825 million and gross investments €257 million. Port area: 12,500 ha of port area (land and water, of which over 6,000 ha is industrial sites). Length of the port area: over 40 km. Cargo throughput: approximately 467 million tonnes of freight a year. Shipping: approximately 30,000 seagoing vessels and 100,000 inland vessels annually. Employment: 193,000 jobs (directly and indirectly). Added value: €30.6 billion, 3.2% of the Dutch gross domestic product (GDP). The port of Rotterdam generates over 500,000 jobs and provides an added value of over €60 billion for the Netherlands. About Shannon Foynes Port Company Shannon Foynes Port Company, Ireland’s deepest sheltered commercial harbour 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. Due to the Port’s location proximate to the Atlantic wind resource, considered the best in the world, and its plans to introduce new services that could assist in decarbonising the supply chain, the Port has a significant role to play in the Government’s Climate Action Plan about energy generation and transport. The Shannon Estuary – with depths of up to 32m and a handling capacity for large vessels up to 200,000 deadweight tonnes, is among the deepest ports in Europe – providing Shannon Foynes Port Company, its customers and investors with a natural advantage and opportunity. Shannon Foynes Port Company is an EU Core Network Port (TEN-T) and a Tier 1 Port in the National Ports Policy, effectively designating the Shannon Estuary as a commercial water course of international significance.
22 January 2024
Mid-West TY students will be ‘Shooting the Breeze’ in short-film competition on the Shannon Estuary as an international renewable energy hub.Shannon Foynes Port COMPASS competition, supported by Hunt Museum, returns to deepen awareness of estuary opportunity. Friday, 19 January 2024: TY students across the Mid-West are being given an opportunity, in the return of the Shannon Foynes Port Company Compass schools competition, to have their say on our future by visualising the transformational potential of the Shannon Estuary as a global renewable energy hub in the decades ahead. Organised by the port authority, the biennial competition will be an opportunity for TY students in counties Clare, Kerry and Limerick to create a short film that predicts what realising the unprecedented renewable energy opportunity on the Shannon Estuary will do for the region and nation. Themed ‘Shooting the Breeze’, the competition returns for the first time since pre-COVID and has a top prize of €2,000 for the winning school. Students create a film of a maximum duration of seven minutes that will focus on the impact of wind power, what it will deliver in terms of sustainability and the downstream economic opportunities as the Shannon Estuary becomes the production hub for Ireland’s estimated 80GW of offshore wind – ten times our domestic requirement - waiting to be tapped off the Atlantic seaboard. Shannon Foynes Port is partnering on this year’s competition with the Hunt Museum, leveraging off its 'Nights Candles are Burnt Out' exhibition, which charts the previous renewable energy revolution of the Shannon system via the development almost a century ago of the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme at Ardnacrusha. Students will get ample inspiration and insight for their film by visiting the captivating exhibition, which is free to all schools participating in 'Shooting the Breeze'. Information Packs and Entry Forms for the competition are available from email@example.com; telephone 069 73102. Entry forms must be returned by 31st January 2024, with a further eight weeks for the TY teams to create their short-film, which must be submitted by March 21st 2024. The five Best Film Nominations will be announced on April 8th, with the chosen teams presenting their films at the Gala Awards Event in the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum on April 26th. Shannon Foynes Port Chief Executive Pat Keating said: “COMPASS has been a great instrument for growing awareness among the youth of the region of the opportunity for the Shannon Estuary to become an international renewable energy generation hub. Participating schools have found it beneficial in terms of gaining awareness of our unique opportunity in this region to lead Ireland’s and influence Europe’s green transition, but they have really enjoyed the process. So, we would encourage as many as possible to enter. Our partnership with the Hunt Museum is an extra attraction as students visiting the exhibition will get plenty of inspiration and insight from it for their short film.” Mr Keating added: “Returning this year with the competition is particularly timely following the publication last year of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce report, which sets out just why the Shannon Estuary can become the green digital powerhouse for the country and export huge volumes of renewable energy to Europe. This is a cue for these young film makers and I’ve no doubt that this will be a project they will be passionate about given this generation’s focus on and demand for the sustainable future that the Estuary can deliver.” Sinead Hutchison, Exhibition & Events Manager at Hunt Museum, said, “We’re delighted to partner with Shannon Foynes Port on Shooting the Breeze. This is all about the future but learnings from the past can certainly inspire the future and museums are enablers of that. What happened on the Shannon system here almost 100 years ago, which is the subject of our Nights Candles are Burnt Out exhibition, with Ardnacrusha is not just inspiration for the students participating in this competition but is an inspiration to everyone, including government, to go after today’s opportunity on the Shannon Estuary. Ardnacrusha was one of the top engineering feats in the world in its day, was what the Hoover Dam in the US was modelled on and yet this was committed to and developed in the very early years of our state. If we replicate that courage today, it will bring us to a whole new and better world tomorrow and that’s what this competition will showcase.” A panel of independent judges will adjudicate on the film submissions and pay particular attention to creativity, knowledge, ingenuity and presentation of the outcomes. Evidence of teamwork is also essential. In addition to the €2,000 for their school, the winning team will also receive the coveted COMPASS Trophy. Each team member also receives an iPad & Commemorative Medal. The runner up prizes for each of the five teams are Commemorative Medals and Sailing Day at Foynes Yacht Club.
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
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