The ports of Cork and Bantry handled nearly a million more tonnes of cargo last year than in 2014.
In total 11.02m tonnes was handled by the Port of Cork company which runs both ports, representing a rise of 8.6% or 871,713m tonnes.
Container traffic at the Tivoli terminal increased by a further 8% following a 13% increase in 2014.
Oil traffic was up by 21% over the year; car imports increased by 48%; and 56 cruise liners brought a record 144,000 passengers and crew to the region.
Turnover for 2015 was €29.8m — up from €26.4m in 2014. Consolidated profit on ordinary activities before taxation amounted to €5.3m compared to €2.7m in 2014, an increase of €2.6 m.
“Our annual results for 2015 are very encouraging and reflective of the capabilities of the Port to support growth in the Irish economy. We are hopeful that the upward trend will continue over the next three to four years,” said Port of Cork chief executive, Brendan Keating.
Last year the company’s plans for the further development of Ringaskiddy port as a major container terminal were approved by An Bord Pleanála. The first phase of the Ringaskiddy development includes a 360m-long quay.
Port of Cork chairman, John Mullins, said that for Ireland to achieve economic growth, it is critically important that the investment is made by the Port of Cork in port infrastructure: “This investment will help consolidate the Port of Cork’s position as a key trade node in global supply chains, generating increased volumes of trade and increased levels of employment.”
Last year the company invested €1.5m in expanding and improving the cruise liner berthing facilities at the Cobh Deepwater Cruise Terminal to accommodate the maximum sized quantum class cruise vessels.
The Port of Cork unveiled phase-one plans for the upgrading of Bantry’s inner harbour. This will cost around €8.5m to complete.
“Both the Ports of Cork and Bantry play key roles in the promotion of marine tourism. Bantry Bay Port Company is beginning to position itself as a unique destination for smaller boutique cruises, with cruise calls set to rise in the coming years. Visiting cruise passengers make a huge contribution to the regional economy,” Mr Mullins said.
The Port of Cork announced yesterday that it was leading a consortium buy-out of the former IFI plant at Marino Point, near Cobh.
The company plans to use it for oil, fertiliser, and animal feed handling. It is to spend approximately €10m upgrading facilities at the plant which closed in 2002 with the loss of 230 jobs.
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