The Dublin Port Company is to invest €110m in enhancing the country’s largest port over the next five years.
The spend will shape the first phase of a more ambitious €600m development plan for the port, spanning the next 40 years.
Overall, the plan is to double capacity at the port, allowing it to handle 60 million tonnes of goods by 2040, and to increase throughput by 2.5% per annum. However, this initial investment will focus on maximising the use of the port’s existing capacity. That will include the building of a new dedicated car storage facility between East Wall Road and the Port Tunnel, a move that would free-up space for other port activity.
Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly said that it was “an exciting time” in the development of the port, and that the €110m five-year investment commitment shows the intent to implement the overall “masterplan” for the site.
“The projects identified under this plan will be advanced in stages, based on capacity, economic demand and our ability to finance them,” he said.
The first phase of development will also see the building of a new €30m cruise facility, accommodating nearly 90 cruise liners each year and more than 135,000 passengers. Cruise Dublin — a specific joint-venture between Dublin City Council and Dublin Chamber to develop Dublin as a cruise industry hub — will be set up by 2015.
Welcoming the overall initiative, Dublin Chamber policy director Aebhric McGibney said: “If the Dublin City region is to be internationally competitive, then we need a modern developed infrastructure base, and Dublin Port is a vital element of our infrastructure network. For too long, there has been a lack of certainty and clarity as to the future development of Dublin Port and this has constrained the growth of the port.”
“As Ireland’s most important port, Dublin Port is a vital part of our national infrastructure,” said Transport and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar. “It has a significant role to play in growing exports, growing jobs and also in growing tourism.”
The wider aim for Dublin Port’s regeneration will include better rail freight links to the country’s major train stations and an overall improvement in integration of the port with Dublin City, itself — an aim which will see more walkways, cycle paths and public viewing platforms built.
“Dublin Port has always been a key part of the city’s economic infrastructure — facilitating trade and supporting jobs in the capital. It’s hugely important that the appropriate facilities and infrastructure are in place at Dublin Port as the city looks to future growth and development both from a trade and tourism perspective,” said John Tierney, Dublin City manager.
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