As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans for the port were withdrawn after the failure of the Galway Harbour Company to secure the necessary approvals for preliminary site investigation works.
The original development proposed transferring port operations from the existing single-dock facility south into Galway Bay, where reclaimed land in deeper waters would accommodate larger cruise liners as well as a freight rail link and a 200-berth marina.
Galway Harbour Company chief executive Eamon Bradshaw said the company was now taking a new route after examining previous planning applications involving sensitive habitats.
He pointed out that under article 6.4 of the EU habitats directive, applications for projects classified under “imperative reasons for overriding public interest” allow developers to compensate for any infringement on senstive habitats by restoring an area of a similar size in a different location.
Bradshaw added that consultations are under way with An Bord Pleanála and other State agencies.