Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Foynes Port

#ShannonEstuary - Maintaining a strong growth pattern last year, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), delivering a record EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €6.6million, its annual report reveals.

In what was the third consecutive year of record profits for the company, 2017’s return was up 2.8% on 2016, with turnover up by 5.7% to 13,980,326. Last year also saw cargo volumes (11.3m tonnes) surpass peak levels of the boom of the last decade and have now grown by 18% in the three years since 2014.

Profit before tax increased to €4.3m (2016: €4.1m), also the highest level in the Company’s history.

The profits were achieved in a year in which the company – the largest bulk port company in Ireland - also invested over €6.5m in enhancing its asset base, including through acquiring a high capacity Liebherr LHM 420 mobile crane and other port infrastructure upgrades.

Significantly also, an operating margin of 34.3% was delivered – six times what it was at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom when a 5.5% margin was delivered. This, SFPC CEO Pat Keating said, is confirmation that the company is delivering on its objectives of transitioning the business into Ireland’s premier deep-water port.

Said Mr Keating: “We are very pleased with our performance in 2017, which was positive across all metrics. Cargo volumes are a key barometer for port companies and last year we were up by 4% at our general cargo terminals of Limerick and Foynes. This growth reflects the resurgence in the domestic and export economy where, for example, agricultural, petroleum and construction products were particularlystrong. In addition, renewable and recyclable related cargoes also performed strongly.”

While the business is now consistently generating healthy profits, substantial demands on cash flow exist, he continued. “These include the extensive investment programme underpinning the company’s long-term masterplan, Vision 2041. These investments are vital in order to significantly expand our infrastructure in order to keep pace with customer demand.

“Accordingly, it is vital that we continue to grow the business efficiently so that we can build on recent success. Since 2011, the base year of Vision 2041, tonnage at our general cargo terminals has increased by just over 53% and we expect that tonnage throughput will continue to trend upward in the coming years, in line with the mid to high scenario projected in Vision 2041," the CEO said.

The performance enabled the company to continue its record investment programme, as outlined in Vision 2041. With the €12m Phase 1 completed over the two-year period ending 2016, a planning application is in progress for a further €22m investment covering Phases II to IV. These phases will comprise a significant extension to berthing facilities at Foynes, including the development of the recently acquired 38 hectares of land for port activity. Funding for this record expansion is in place and has been co-funded by the EU Ten-t program.

Said SFPC Chairman David McGarry: “The Board is fully committed to delivering on the strategic vision as outlined in the Shannon Foynes Master Plan Vision 2041 and to that end, will be actively pursuing the implementation of all key deliverables identified in the Plan. Whilst it is early days in the Vision 2041 plan period, we are very much on track to achieve its growth projections.” Mr McGarry said, that a number of key projects must be delivered for the port authority reach its potential, including the Limerick to Foynes Road Scheme but delivery of this, he said, is becoming more and more urgent. The reinstatement of the Limerick to Foynes rail line for freight use, likewise, is a key project. He also revealed that the performance over recent years ensures that SFPC continues to declare and pay dividends to the Exchequer. 2017 saw a payment of €250,000, over two and a half times the company’s first dividend payment two years ago.

With regard to Brexit implications, he said: “While there are obvious economic threats arising from Brexit, we believe it also presents opportunity. Brexit is a disruptor and has forced the freight sector, including its policy makers, to review current systems and traffic paths. To this end, we have been very active during 2017 and note that the European Commission, in its CEF mid-term review intend to extend the North Sea Mediterranean Corridor to include SFPC. This is a major change and one which should enhance our ability to access future European Funding under the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) budget.”

 

 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#ShannonEstuary - This month work will begin on the first element of a major restructuring of the port of Foynes in Co Limerick.

According to RTE News, it is part of a €50m investment in transforming the port into one of the biggest bulk harbours in Europe.

Shannon Foynes Port Company will spend €12m on transforming the existing East Jetty area, and reclaiming a 3.45 acre section of the port to create a bigger foreshore area of activity and enable improved bulk discharge times.

The expansion of the port will add an additional 35,000 square metres of additional berthage and create more open quay storage at the port.

It will enable the company to accommodate larger container cargo ships, enabling ships of 40,000 tonne capacity to berth at the new port.

For more on the development of the mid-west port, click here. 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#ShannonEstuary - Another boost this week for Shannon Foynes Port Company, is the news that funding worth more than €4m is on the way from the European Union.

As the Limerick Leader writes the company has been cleared for almost €4.5m in EU transport funds, which will be used for further development work at the Foynes facility.

Two years ago, SFPC received over €3m from the same fund. This time, the grant has been allocated to join existing jetties at Foynes, infill an area behind these jetties, and develop 90 acres of land for ancillary port storage and port-related activities.

MEP Deirdre Clune, a member of the EU transport committee, said it was a vote of confidence in Limerick.

For more on the story click the link here.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#ShannonWater - Plans for a pipeline by Irish Water to Dublin are no threat to activities says Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The mid-west port writes The Irish Times, has rejected warnings that Irish Water’s planned extraction of water from the river Shannon for Dublin homes and business could hit operations at Limerick port.

Campaigners against the proposed pipeline said it believed Irish Water’s plan to take out 330 million litres a day from the Shannon could lower water levels at the mouth of the river.

“If there isn’t sufficient strength of speed and flow – that is, if there is less water – the shipping channels will silt up and ships will not reach Limerick port. That would be a massive economic blow,” said Gerry Siney of the River Shannon Protection Alliance.

Port authorities said they were satisfied the pipeline would not “materially impact” dock operations at the facility, which relies on deep-water channels for much of its traffic.

Mr Siney described the plan as “ludicrous”, adding: “This really doesn’t stand up environmentally, economically and socially.”

For more the newspaper has a report here.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#EUPortFund - Funding of €3m from the EU has been secured for Shannon Foynes Port Company, the bulk of which will be spent on building a new East Jetty at the Limerick port, writes The Limerick Leader.

But some €800,000 has also been assigned to examine the feasibility of restoring the rail link to the facility. The East Jetty and the restoration of the rail link are part of the port company's 30-year master plan, Vision 2041. Earlier this year, a seven-year investment plan of €50m got underway and work began on developing the East Jetty which is expected to cost €12.5m.

The €3m funding has come under the Connecting Europe Facility, which has rolled out a record €13.1 billion investment plan for 276 transport projects across Europe. The port company was one of some 700 applicants for the fund and invested considerable time and effort in making the application.

The work on the East Jetty will completed in two phases. The first phase, which has begun, will involve the construction of a retaining wall along berth six, the removal of the existing viaduct and the infilling of 14,500 square metres behind berth six to create substantial new open quay storage.

Preliminary work will also take place on phase two, which involves linking the East and West jetties but construction of phase two is not expected to begin until 2019. The company has repeatedly made clear that it sees the restoration of the rail link as important for the continuing and future development of Foynes and of the estuary generally.

For more on the story click here

 

 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#EastJettyInfill – Work on a major €50 million investment of Foynes Port that began in February to transform the Shannon Estuary port into one of the biggest bulk harbours in Europe continues with dredging operations, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The restructuring work of Foynes Port sees the redevelopment of the East Jetty which forms phase one of the work costing €12.5m towards the in-filling of 3.45 acres.

When completed this new open quay storage area will cater for 40,000dwt vessels to berth alongside to load and will enable improved bulk cargo discharge times.

According to Shannon Foynes Port Company, the Notice to Mariners No. 2 of 2015 states that the Jenny T, a suction dredger/dump barge is anticipated to carry out dredging and associated dumping works for approximately two weeks, dependent on weather conditions.Operations will be restricted to daylight hours only.

At the neighbouring West Jetty, this forms phase two of the project as this stretch of the Co. Limerick Port will be connected with the East Jetty.

The expansion of the port will add an additional 35,000 square metres of additional bertage and create more open quay storage at the port.

SFPC also plan over time to be able to accommodate 80,000 tonnes capacity vessels, the world's largest cargo vessels to unload at Foynes, making it one of the few ports in Europe capable of handling these massive ships. Currently these vessels transit the Panama Canal.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#MunsterCruise – German tourists are on a cruise around Ireland which included a visit to Foynes yesterday followed by a short overnight passage to Cobh today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruise on board Phoenix Reisen's Amadea 29,008 tonnes vessel marked the final caller to Foynes this season, which was opened by Holland America Line's 37,845 tonnes Prinsendam a month ago.

Amadea, formerly the Japanese cruiseship Asuka,  is the 'flagship' of the German cruise operator which runs the 1984 built Artania, well known to cruise buffs as the former Royal Princess. In addition the small fleet includes Albatros, originally Royal Vikling Sea, one of a trio of Finish built sisters commissioned for Royal Viking Line.

A third caller was due to start the season at the Shannon port, Voyages of Discovery's 15,396 tonnes Voyager, however the vessel had technical problems forcing the cruise to be curtailed in Killybegs.

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#FoynesPort - Shannon Estuary with its enormous investment potential and capability in handling large vessels due to deep-water channels, was clearly evident with the call last month to Foynes Port of the giant 55,000 tonne Santa Fe.

The 200m long ship was carrying one of the largest ever cargo of wind turbines to come into Ireland and had arrived in Foynes from China. On completion of unloading the wind turbine installations for onward road transportation along the western seaboard, Santa Fee departed for Rotterdam.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SPFC) also handled the 82,000dwt London 2012 earlier this year.

The dry-bulk-carrier discharged cargo at the Aughinish Alumina jetty which is one of six terminals of the SFPC that published its Vision 2041 Masterplan to attract international investors to establish manufacturing and potentially transshipment operations on the estuary.

SFPC is the only Irish port authority with sufficient natural water depths to accommodate the global trend for a doubling and more of in the size of vessels (up to 80,000 tonnes) over the coming decade or more.

This is due to the enlargement of the Panama Canal - the world's most important shipping route, which influences vessel sizes globally.

As well as handling the Santa Fe, the SFPC hosted the first visit of the Polarcus Amani on the last day of July. The ultra-modern, super high ice class, 12-14 streamer 3D/4D seismic research vessel involved in operations off the west coast of Ireland.

Polarcus Amani berthed to change crew and receive gas oil bunkers. Inver Energy Ltd supplied the 600 tonnes of fuel directly by pipeline from the new Atlantic Fuel Supply Company terminal located in Foynes.

SFPC expects to host considerably more activity in the coming years to service the planned exploration of potential gas and oil fields located off the western seaboard. Offshore supply bases have previously operated out of Foynes.

 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#CruiseshipFoynes- Foynes Port today welcomed its first cruise-caller Prinsendam of the Holland America Line, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 700 passenger vessel is on a 14-night cruise of British and Irish Ports having departed Amsterdam. Yesterday, the 38,848grt cruiseship had sailed overnight from an anchorage call off Galway Harbour.

One of the main visitor attractions is the Foynes Flying Boat Musuem. Earlier this year the visitor centre added a new Maritime Museum dedicated to the role of shipping between the Mouth of the Shannon and right up the estuary to Limerick Docks.

Originally, Voyages of Discovery's 15,396 tonnes Voyager was to be the first cruise caller to the estuary port. As previously reported, the ship had generator problems which prevented the vessel in making a call in late May.

Prinsendam is to depart this evening bound for Waterford Port. The next and only caller to Foynes this season is Pheonix Reisen's Amadea which is due in mid-September.

Foynes is one of six port facilities along the estuary operated by Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) which posted a record operating profit of just over €3 million for 2012.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#CRUISESHIP SISTERS – Oceania Cruises Nautica (2000/30,277grt) currently docked in Dublin Port will later today be joined by a sister, Azamara Journey, operated by Azamara Club Cruises, writes Jehan Ashmore

Azamara Journey had departed Leith and is heading through the Irish Sea and is expected to arrive in the capital port around mid-afternoon.

Both vessels (circa 680 passengers) form part of an original eight-strong sister fleet of French built 'R' class ships ordered for Renaissance Cruises, which ceased trading in 2001, resulting in the splitting of the ships to various owners.

Incidentally Oceania Cruises also operate two more such sisters. Regatta built as R Five and Insignia, the former R1, the lead-ship of the series all having the previous owner's rather simplistic naming theme. Likewise Azamara Club Cruises operate the former R Seven, rechristened Azamara Quest.

Another 'R' class sister operating for P&O Cruises, the Adonia, which led the seven-strong spectacular sail-past in Southampton waters for the 'Grand Event' to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the famous company, is due to call to Foynes in a fortnight's time.

Noting that Adonia, led the liner line-up which included Arcadia (as previously reported), seen third in line astern and where each ship set off on separate cruises as they headed out of the Solent.

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 1 of 2

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating