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Port of Galway Recognition for EU Ten-T Status Means "Christmas Has Come Early" - Port

22nd December 2023
The Port of Galway is on its 18th onshore wind project, with 700 megawatts or 0.7 gigawatts of onshore wind turbines and blades having come through the west of Ireland port
The Port of Galway is on its 18th onshore wind project, with 700 megawatts or 0.7 gigawatts of onshore wind turbines and blades having come through the west of Ireland port

The Port of Galway says that “Christmas has come early” for it, with confirmation that it has been recognised for European TEN-T status.

The development has been welcomed by the harbourmaster, Capt Brian Sheridan, and Galway West junior minister and Government chief whip Hildegarde Naughton.

As Afloat previously reported, Galway’s leading role as an importer for onshore wind projects had swung the deal and has “ effectively changed European policy”, Sheridan notes this week.

The status will allow the port to apply for funding under the EU’s Connecting Europe facility, which aims to remove bottlenecks and technical barriers to a streamlined transport system onshore and at sea.

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy addresses the implementation and development of a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals.

“We are on our 18th onshore wind project, with 700 megawatts or 0.7 gigawatts of onshore wind turbines and blades having come through Galway,” Sheridan said.

Port of Galway Harbourmaster, Capt Brian SheridanPort of Galway Harbourmaster, Capt Brian Sheridan

“We are the leading Irish port for onshore wind, and we had argued in Brussels since 2013 that measuring port performance indicators for TEN-T by tonnage and passenger numbers should be revised to include ports that helped to meet targets for climate action and the European Green Deal,” he explained.

The agreement in principle to include Galway was signalled a year ago at an EU transport ministerial council, when a regulation relating to TEN-T was revised to allow for climate change policy goals.

“The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) designation for the Port of Galway signifies its integration into a comprehensive European transportation framework,” the Port of Galway said in a statement.

“ This inclusion is significant as it enhances connectivity and accessibility, promoting efficient transportation links between Galway and other key European ports,” it said.

“ It will lead to improved infrastructure, opening the door to EU funding, streamlined logistics, and increased trade opportunities, fostering economic growth for the region and strengthening its role in the broader European transportation network,”it said.

“Christmas has come early,” it concluded.

“For Ireland, the new regulation will mean that upgrading intercity and regional rail lines on the TEN-T network, developing our main ports, linking key infrastructure such as Dublin Airport to rail, developing multi-modal freight terminals, and better integrating local and national transport infrastructure in the designated urban nodes on the network of Dublin, Cork and now Galway, will all be eligible to apply for funding under the EU’s Connecting Europe facility,” Ms Naughton has said.

Galway West junior minister and Government chief whip Hildegarde NaughtonGalway West junior minister and Government chief whip Hildegarde Naughton

Ms Naughton was junior minister for transport when the EU moved to revise its regulation. She is currently Government chief whip and junior minister for public health.

Published in Galway Harbour
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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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