Shannon Foynes Port’s record investment a key step in transforming estuary into international hub for floating offshore wind generation
€28m investment will deliver new jetty infrastructure as well as one of Ireland’s largest logistics buildings
A record €28million investment in jetty infrastructure and a port logistics park has been announced by Shannon Foynes Port Company today in a significant step in transitioning the Shannon Estuary into a major international renewable energy supply-chain hub.
The unprecedent investment, which is fully and co-funded by Shannon Foynes Port Company and the EU’s ‘Connecting Europe Facility’, will include a significant expansion of quayside area through the joining and infilling of two existing jetties. This will deliver an additional 117m of jetty set down/storage area by linking the existing east and west jetties at the port, substantially boosting existing quayside set down space.
Also included in the investment programme is the development of one of the country’s largest logistics buildings in a significant boost to national bulk and unitized freight supply chain infrastructure. The 127,000 sq ft facility will be the key element in a new 38 hectares port logistics park that will have the potential for a future 400,000 sq ft of modern logistics warehousing over the coming decade and a half.
Planning permission and foreshore consents for the developments, which amount to the largest ever financial commitment in civil works by the port company, have been secured, with work already underway on the new jetty and associated set down area following construction procurement.
Work on the logistics park, which will become the largest building at the Tier 1 international port, will commence in Q3 of this year, with all works completed in the first half of 2024.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is co-funding the project, is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. CEF investments fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.
Shannon Foynes Port Company Chief Executive Pat Keating said: “This investment reflects the unprecedented opportunity for the Shannon Estuary and Shannon Foynes Port Company. It represents the next stage of implementation of our investment programme and, importantly, lays the foundation for further required scalable capacity investments to accommodate growth in both the offshore renewable sector and the transport sector. For example, our objective to be the supply chain facilitator for an Atlantic floating offshore wind energy hub and related hydrogen production will be transformational in terms of our climate action targets, our national economy and energy security.
“We have some of the most consistent winds in the world off the west coast, the technology now in place to harness those winds through floating offshore wind and, in the Shannon Estuary, the deep and sheltered waters necessary to build the floating devices before they are brought out into open ocean waters. The world’s leading players in this space want to invest here and leading nations, such as Germany, want the green hydrogen we can generate from this almost limitless renewable energy. But for all this to happen, we need to invest heavily in our infrastructure and the plans we are announcing today are significant step in that regard.”
Shannon Foynes Port Company’s Offshore Floating Wind Study conservatively estimates that up to €12bn in associated supply chain investment could be located on the Shannon Estuary by 2050, with an opportunity to create up to 30,000 jobs.
Spekaing on the significant investment in logistics, John Carlton, Engineering and Port Services Manager at Shannon Foynes Port Company said, “Our new logistics park will be a game changer for bulk and containerised goods in Ireland. There is unanimity around the need to counterbalance and build resilience in the national supply chain and, in keeping with the National Development Plan , a key facilitator of this is to promote regional development by optimising capacity outside the congested east coast. Developing modern logistics facilities at the deep-water port of Foynes provides new logistics solutions for the western half of the country, offering more efficient and sustainable market access for importers and exporters alike by reducing the ton per kilometer travelled.”
Shannon Foynes Port Company Chairman David McGarry added: “When we launched our Vision 2041 masterplan in 2013, it was seen as a hugely ambitious strategy, yet we have reached its growth targets. The record investment we are announcing today, which is our biggest single commitment yet, is the latest but a key element of that masterplan.”