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16 May 2022

Vision 2041: Shannon Foynes Port Company engages leading firm to update its masterplan

Foynes port: new EU funding is on the way to Limerick as Foynes positions itself as a major European port post-Brexit

The proximity of Foynes Port to the Atlantic wind resource provides the opportunity for it to become a major international renewable energy hub.

SHANNON Foynes Port Company has appointed Bechtel - a leading engineering, construction, and project management company - to advance it's masterplan, Vision 2041.

The plan, which was first launched in 2013, was Ireland's first long-term port strategy and set out several ambitious targets for the development of port infrastructure and associated services along the Shannon Estuary.

As part of the recently-announced contract, Bechtel will update the masterplan to maximise the opportunity emerging from offshore and onshore investment within and adjacent to its harbours in Ireland.

The proximity of Foynes Port to the Atlantic wind resource provides the opportunity for it to become a major international renewable energy hub.

Shannon Foynes Port Company says it can be a key enabler for Ireland reaching and surpassing its 20GW offshore wind target by 2050 and that expanded facilities at the port would include hydrogen and ammonia production facilities for long-term energy storage and will also consider the export of the renewable energy/fuels produced.

Bechtel’s role will be to assess and refresh the port’s masterplan to best leverage these advantages, further boost growth and support the region’s emerging offshore wind industry. 

Planned expansion at Foynes Port includes a new 1 kilometer dock with depths of over 18m alongside and associated quayside storage, will increase port capacity to 20m tons per annum. This will be accommodated by up to 1,200 hectares of land which has been zoned for strategic development.

John Williams, Bechtel’s managing director for the UK and Ireland says there is great potential in Foynes Port.

"There is an increasingly strong case for investing in port infrastructure to support the growth in offshore wind and the importance of creating local supply chains cannot be underestimated. Ports act as focal points during the manufacturing, installation and operation of offshore wind farms and Shannon Foynes is strategically ideal to support Ireland’s offshore wind industry, as well as expand to play an even greater role in European shipping."

Patrick Keating, Chief Executive of Shannon Foynes Port Company added: "Nine years ago, Vision 2041 was considered a very ambitious masterplan, yet we have since met all the higher end growth targets identified for the interim period. In it we also identified the opportunity ahead for what were then only emerging sectors, such as offshore renewables. In addition, there is the complementary growth potential for the estuary as a major logistics centre."

Mr Kearing says the updating of the masterplan is a a critical moment for the company and that it is delighted to have Bechtel supporting it.

"Bechtel’s portfolio spans infrastructure, renewables, fuel production, and financing and makes them uniquely qualified to help us maximise the benefits of our deep-water advantage and our expansion plan, along with the job creation, supplier opportunities, economic growth that it will bring."

It is expected the report will take a number of months to finalise.

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