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Galway Port Plans Must Look To The Future Says Ex Statoil Head

10th March 2013
Galway Port Plans Must Look To The Future Says Ex Statoil Head

#GalwayPort - A former director of Statoil has said Galway needs to look "10, 20 or 30 years ahead" to make use of the vast potential of the marine sector amid plans for the redevelopment of the city's port.

As the Galway City Tribune reports, Stein Bredal made a six-day visit to the City of the Tribes during which he proposed that proper management of the Galway Port scheme would create thousands of long-term jobs across a number of sectors.

He posited his home city of Stavanger in Norway as an example to follow. The city - with double the population of Galway - has become a service hub for Norway's west coast oil and gas fields.

And Bredal believes Galway could become the same for Ireland's offshore reserves, not to mention tourism (in the form of local hospitality and berths for cruise liners) and aquaculture (such as the proposed deep-sea organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands).

“You need someone in this city to think 10, 20, or 30 years ahead," he said. "You need to give hope to the young generation, that they don’t need to emigrate to Australia or New Zealand, that the service jobs can be located here."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, fast-tracking of pans for the €200 million redevelopment of Galway Port is on the cards thanks to a clause in EU regulations that allows for planning applications to be made under IROPI (Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest) legislation.

Published in Galway Harbour
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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