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Investment of €30m at Rosslare Europort, As Planning Permission Submitted for Port Masterplan

3rd July 2020
Set for a €30m investment, and transformation is Rosslare Europort as a new Port Masterplan, for which planning permission is about to be sought. ABOVE AFLOAT adds is the south-east port's current compound layout with ferry terminal dating to 1989. Also identified are ships (left to right): Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Braemar, Stena Line's Fishguard route superferry Stena Europe (currently at H&W, Belfast) and Irish Ferries cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore underway bound for Pembroke, south Wales. Set for a €30m investment, and transformation is Rosslare Europort as a new Port Masterplan, for which planning permission is about to be sought. ABOVE AFLOAT adds is the south-east port's current compound layout with ferry terminal dating to 1989. Also identified are ships (left to right): Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Braemar, Stena Line's Fishguard route superferry Stena Europe (currently at H&W, Belfast) and Irish Ferries cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore underway bound for Pembroke, south Wales. Photo: Rosslare Europort

Port authority Iarnród Éireann, operator of Rosslare Europort, is to undergo a major transformation as part of its Port Masterplan, as the authority is set to apply for planning permission next week.

The Masterplan, together with initiatives under the strategic plan for the (predominant ferry) port, will see over €30 million invested by Iarnród Éireann in Rosslare Europort over the next five years. It will ensure that Rosslare will be equipped with the capacity, facilities and technology to facilitate major growth for the benefit of the region and the wider national economy.

Major changes in the Europort, and the subject of planning permission will be

  • New configuration of the port aligned to maximise future growth of the port and support regional and national development
  • Significant new facilities and infrastructure to develop Rosslare Europort to its full potential as Irelands gateway port to the UK and Europe
  • Design and develop a Sustainable, Seamless and Smart Port that will be best in class internationally

The development under the Masterplan will be completed over a number of phases over a five year timeframe to enable the port continue to operate all services and activity during construction.

Rosslare Europort is the closest port to the UK and mainland Europe and offers numerous daily/weekly direct (ro-ro ferry & freight) services to the UK, France and Spain.

As well as the port masterplan further substantial investment will also take place both at the port and the surrounding area with the following further developments being completed during the same timeframe.

1. Construction of the New N25 Rosslare Europort Access Road by TII and Wexford Co Council
2. Development of the Rosslare Europort Business Park by the Dutch company XELLZ targeting the future Offshore Wind Market
3. Construction of the future permanent extensive facilities to meet all customs and Brexit requirements for state agencies.at the Port making Rosslare the only port outside of Dublin with the required Border Inspection Post

The combined developments will see the largest ever investment in the port and surrounding area and will position Rosslare Europort to become the leading gateway for the country to the UK and Europe

Glenn Carr General Manger Rosslare Europort said “These are probably the most exciting times that the port has ever seen with transformational developments planned over the next few years. We will be making significant investment demonstrating our commitment and drive to grow Rosslare Europort and ensuring that we maximise its full potential both for the region and the overall country.

While we will have challenges in dealing with the current Covid and Brexit situation, I am extremely optimistic with the plans we now have in place for the development of the port and growing of the business well into the future, building on new business from Brittany Ferries earlier this year.

We also very much welcome the additional substantial investments that are being made with the new port access road by TII and Wexford Co Council, the new Brexit facilities for state agencies by the OPW, Revenue, Department of Transport, Depts of Agriculture, Justice and Health and the exciting proposed Rosslare Business Park Zone by XELLZ; All of these development along with our masterplan will greatly benefit not just the port but also the economic development of the region.

Finally I also strongly believe that Rosslare Europort is now the best positioned port to be the Offshore Wind Energy hub for Ireland in the future. No other port in the Republic has the potential land, capacity and connectivity available that is required, and I look forward to working with all of the key stakeholders in securing the support and invested needed to secure the delivery of this vital development for the country.”

Masterplan Rosslare

Rosslare Europort engaged Nicholas O’Dwyer (NOD), with specialist input from NIRAS, to prepare an infrastructure masterplan that will deliver a sustainable, seamless and smart port for the future growth at Rosslare Europort. The infrastructure Masterplan has been developed in line with the Strategic Plan for the port and addresses current limitations at the port and provides for the key future functional requirements to enable Rosslare Europort to grow and maximise its full potential as the gateway port from Ireland to Europe.

Key Objectives of Masterplan

  • Create an innovative design for a sustainable, seamless and smart port of the future;
  • Review the existing facilities and identify their respective capacities and establish what additional facilities are required;
  • Maximise all available land to meet the future traffic for the port, with particular reference to trends in vessel sizes / types and new business opportunities such as off shore wind energy / containers ,bulk and additional direct services to Europe;
  • Substantial increase in Trailer/Container , Trade cars, bulk and general cargo storage at the port;
  • Configure the port to be aligned with future external road and land development connecting with the port;
  • Implement a full digitisation programme to create Ireland’s smartest IT port.
  • Provide adequate land for the construction of the permanent Border Inspection facility to meet full customs, security and immigration control requirements;
    Improved traffic and operations efficiency and safety;
  • Extension of a longer Berth with a second double linkspan to accommodate large vessels of the future

Phases of Masterplan

A full detailed phasing plan has been developed to mitigate potential conflicts during construction from 2020-2024 to ensure there will be a fully functioning Port at all times.

Phase 1

With the overall Rosslare Europort area increasing in usable space from its existing area the first phase of construction was to carry out the installation of the new perimeter access road, new entrance roundabout, security fencing along the perimeter, new freight check in area and the central spine access road.

A large proportion of this phase of the construction can be developed without any impact on the existing Port operations as the construction is on the area adjoining the port facility.

The only anticipated impact on the Port will be the connection to the existing entrance roundabout and the removal of some buildings along the perimeter as well as some minor impact to the existing trailer storage area. The phase 1 will also include the construction of the main service runs which will be installed under the main access routes. Phase 1 would enable freight to access the Port along the new road and roundabout and check in at the new location

Phase 2

On completion of Phase 1 access for all freight will commence along the new access road, around to the western roundabout and entre the port through the new freight check in area. The Phase 2 works will include all the paving areas from the new central spine road to the northern quay including the areas for the bulk storage, export trailer area and trade car areas.

The completion of these paved areas will enable existing storage areas to be transferred to free up zones for future.

Phase 2 will be completed in sections to enable operations continue within the port.

Phase 3 This phase is the alteration around the main loading and unloading areas at the berths. It stretches from the terminal building to the berths in one direction and from the new roundabout to Berth 1 in the other direction.

It would likely involve a number of small sections to be completed in sequence so as to minimise the effect on operations. It would be beneficial to complete the infill of the old rail line and construction of the new maintenance building initially to free up space for the diversion of traffic for the subsequent sections. The critical areas to complete would likely be adjoining berths and sequencing of the movement of traffic. This could be further developed during detailed design stages.

Phase 4 This final phase would include the areas for the import trailer storage, upgrade to the passenger vehicle check in and completion of the secure fencing.

With the previous phases completed this will free up a large proportion of the trailer storage area for construction and only during the passenger vehicle area modifications would there be some minor impact on Port operations.

Published in Irish Ports
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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