Shannon Foynes Port, Ireland’s second largest port operator and largest bulk port company, is to invest €28m ($31m) in new infrastructure as part of its plan to turn the Shannon Estuary into an international hub for floating offshore wind. The project is being funded by Shannon Foynes Port Company and the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility, an EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment.
The investment will include a significant expansion of the quayside area through the joining and infilling of two existing jetties, delivering an additional 117 m of jetty set down/storage area. Shannon Foynes Port Company’s offshore floating wind study conservatively estimated 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.
Shannon Foynes Port Company CEO, 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.”
Also included in the investment programme is the development of one of the country’s largest logistics buildings, which the company said would be a significant boost to national bulk and unitised 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 will commence in the third quarter of this year, with all works completed in the first half of 2024.