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Dublin Port Company Announces Update on 3FM Project: Agreement Secured on Maritime Village Community Proposal

9th May 2024
Dublin Port 3FM Project has published an updated overview illustration of its Maritime Village proposals
Dublin Port 3FM Project has published an updated overview illustration of its Maritime Village proposals

Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today announced an update on its 3FM Project. The changes proposed are a direct result of an extensive consultation process and a consideration of alternative options – a key requirement of the planning process. The changes outlined below will describe a material enhancement of lands allocated to public realm, more efficient location of lands to the district heating scheme and directly address concerns expressed about the perceived visual and noise impact of DPC’s original proposals.

Enhanced public and community amenity will be provided along with 5.5km of cycle and pedestrian routes across the Poolbeg PeninsulaEnhanced public and community amenity will be provided along with 5.5km of cycle and pedestrian routes across the Poolbeg Peninsula

The 3FM Project concerns the provision of new port capacity for unitised cargo on port-owned lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula and includes the construction of a new bridge across the River Liffey as part of the Southern Port Access Route (SPAR). In addition, a new Maritime Village and enhanced public and community amenity will be provided along with 5.5km of cycle and pedestrian routes across the Poolbeg Peninsula.

Reconfigured Area O

It had been originally proposed that a Lo-Lo (container) storage facility would be located on port lands directly south of the Dublin Waste to Energy facility, referred to in the Dublin Port Masterplan as Area O. Following feedback from the consultation process and a detailed review of options, an alternative allocation of land has been determined with Area O continuing to play an important role in providing RoRo trailer capacity, but on a reduced area with no stacking of freight or gantry cranes.

Area L, which is adjacent to the quayside, will now be used as a LoLo container storage facility. Area L had been designated for further development at a later date under Masterplan 2040. However, this proposal brings this plan forward.

The Area O lands will now be reconfigured as follows

Dublin Port's 3FM Project map has been updatedDublin Port's 3FM Project map has been updated

  • A 1.2-acre portion of Area O will be made available to Dublin City Council to facilitate the provision of a District Heating Energy Centre adjacent to the Waste to Energy plant. This is the preferred location for Dublin City Council for the Energy Centre required to service the district heating scheme. The planning consent for the Energy Centre will not form part of the 3FM application and will be a matter for Dublin City Council in due course.
  • The remaining part of Area O lands will now be used as a Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) unaccompanied freight terminal, replacing the originally proposed container stacks with a ground level, single height freight trailer area. This non-containerised low level RoRo freight storage area will not involve any stacking of containers or trailers, nor will any gantry cranes be required.
  • The freight trailer terminal will be situated behind the existing large bund on the south of the Poolbeg Peninsula, and consequently be completely hidden from Sandymount Strand. Further planting of the bund will proceed as originally proposed, creating additional habitat along the coastal path area.
  • Electric-powered transfer units will be used to move the trailers between Area O and berthside.
  • All trailers departing from Area O will use the new, purpose-built Southern Port Access Route (SPAR) for access to the Dublin Port Tunnel - as will all other HGV traffic on the Poolbeg Peninsula. This will remove such traffic from existing public roads leading to and from the Tom Clarke Bridge.
  • A new portion of lands at the eastern end of Area O will be allocated to the Nature Reserve (Irishtown Nature Park) and transferred by DPC to Dublin City Council. This land represents a 2.7-acre extension to the Nature Reserve.
  • As a consequence of these changes, an additional area of land to the west of Area O will become a wildflower meadow [2.5 acres], creating a biodiversity gain. This will be directly adjacent to the new Port Park [3.7 acres].
  • In combination a total of 12.9 acres of Dublin Port Lands will be allocated to the proposed public park, wildflower meadow, existing coastal path and berm area which will be planted and the extension to the Irishtown Nature Reserve.
  • All of these proposals conform with the appropriate zoning for the Area O lands under the Poolbeg West SDZ.
  • Funding will be provided by DPC to DCC to facilitate active travel routes around the Poolbeg Peninsula Nature Reserve which is managed by DCC.

Update on New Maritime Village

In addition to the changes proposed at Area O lands, Dublin Port Company is pleased to note that broad agreement has been reached on the design of a new Maritime Village for the Poolbeg Yacht Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, the Ringsend Registered Fishermen and Private Boatowners, the Irish Nautical Trust and other maritime interest groups in the area. This will be a significant community resource, providing modern facilities for a range of users with improved waterside access viewing opportunities, and a public plaza area.
Lifting Bridge / Southern Port Access Route (SPAR)

The 3FM Project will also include the development of a new bridge across the River Liffey which will remove port and commercial traffic from surrounding roads.

Codling Wind Park

An additional 3.7 acres will also be made available to Codling Wind Park for the on-shoring of off-shore renewable energy.

Rail freight access

Dublin Port Company is also pleased to update that discussions are progressing well with Irish Rail with the intention of providing access for all port terminals to Rail. The SPAR will enable rapid road shunting of containers from the 3FM Project to these rail intermodal facilities. This rail intermodal initiative is separate to the 3FM Project in itself. Further updates will follow as this project evolves.

Barry O’Connell, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “The changes we’re announcing today are a powerful example of how genuine engagement in the consultation process can result in stronger and more sustainable planning. Large infrastructure projects such as 3FM are complex and challenging and the consultation process is essential in order to achieve the right balance between the interests of the many stakeholders they impact. I believe our revised plans do just that and I want to sincerely thank all of those who contributed to the process.

“All stakeholders will have an opportunity to review the updated proposal in full, and make their views known to An Bord Pleanála as part of the statutory public consultation process when the application is lodged. We wanted to share this important update ahead of submitting our application this summer.” Team

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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest and busiest port with approximately 17,000 vessel movements per year. As well as being the country’s largest port, Dublin Port has the highest rate of growth and, in the seven years to 2019, total cargo volumes grew by 36.1%.

The vision of Dublin Port Company is to have the required capacity to service the needs of its customers and the wider economy safely, efficiently and sustainably. Dublin Port will integrate with the City by enhancing the natural and built environments. The Port is being developed in line with Masterplan 2040.

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020.