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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

Green energy company - EI-H2 - has announced plans for Ireland’s first Green Hydrogen facility. The new company intends to seek planning permission for a 50MW electrolysis plant in Aghada, on the shores of Cork Harbour, which when operational will remove 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually from Irish industry and power generation.

Upon completion, the site will be one of the biggest green energy facilities of its kind in the world. Over 85 full-time direct and indirect jobs will be created and EI-H2 Aghada hopes to be operational before the end of 2023. The cost of construction and connection to the electricity grid is expected to be in the region of €120m.

EI-H2 chose Cork’s Lower Harbour for its first site given its strategic location. The facility is designed to assist commercial customers struggling to reduce their carbon output, who will increasingly need environmentally sound and sustainable energy alternatives.

The technology being planned for the Aghada site allows for surplus electricity from renewable generation, particularly offshore wind, to be utilised in a process of electrolysis to break down water into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen.

The Aghada site will aim to provide over 20 tonnes of green, safe hydrogen per day to the commercial market. The green hydrogen produced at the plant can be safely added to existing natural gas supplies, helping high volume energy producers to reduce their carbon emissions.

EI-H2 is owned by Cork businessman, Pearse Flynn, who says, “Ireland is starting to take leadership in tackling climate change. The production of hydrogen from excess wind capacity will play a significant role in Ireland’s decarbonisation, given that Ireland could be generating 8 GW of offshore wind by 2030. There inevitably will be ‘curtailed’ energy that will go to waste unless we find ways of using it. EI-H2 is planning the production of safe and environmentally sound green hydrogen that will allow industry to decarbonise. This initiative will create and sustain local jobs, and go a long way towards helping Ireland meet its international obligations on climate change.”

Welcoming the announcement, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, says; “Ireland faces a challenge to decarbonise over the next decade, and a plan like that being put forward by EI-H2 would go some way towards helping us achieve what might now seem like impossible targets. Every business in Ireland should be looking at ways to decarbonise, starting with the largest, and working our way through our entire economy. The production of green hydrogen using surplus wind energy is just one way that we can help put Ireland on a solid environmental footing, and show global leadership in energy projects. I would like to wish Pearse Flynn and the team at EI-H2 every success as they develop this, and other projects, in this space in the years to come.”

To help with the project, Pearse Flynn has been working closely with Energy Services, an energy consultancy that has a long experience in grid connections and energy markets operation. These are seen as essential for the integration of renewable energy from offshore wind and other sources into green hydrogen and ammonia production facilities.

The proposed site has been selected because of its proximity to an existing triangle of energy generation, including power generating stations, heavy industry and an oil refinery. There is also potential to export green hydrogen in the future using a fleet of environmentally friendly ships. By 2050, green hydrogen will account for 80% of the shipping industry’s energy demand, the vast majority of which will be in the form of green ammonia. The same product will meet an estimated 60% of the aviation sector’s energy demand.

The newly appointed CEO of EI-H2 is Tom Lynch, who has an extensive track record in the energy sector both in Ireland and overseas. 

Mr. Lynch said: “Ireland has incredible potential as an emerging leader in green hydrogen. We have identified East Cork as the first site to develop this safe form of new energy, and will be looking at other strategic locations around the country where the power of excess energy can be harnessed. As we approach the COP26 conference in Glasgow this year, we believe that the use of green hydrogen can present Ireland with a realistic and simple way of decarbonising and meeting our Net Zero targets in a meaningful way, and will form a key part of the energy transition, enabling high penetrations of renewable energy onto the system in order to meet Ireland’s climate change commitments. We look forward to engaging with all relevant authorities and individuals as we plan a greener future for this strategically important site in Cork Harbour.” 

EI-H2 will shortly begin an intensive round of pre-planning discussions with Cork County Council, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and other interested parties ahead of the formal lodging of planning permission later this year.

Published in Power From the Sea
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Fishing vessels are due to steam up the river Lee to Cork city on Wednesday in protest over serious issues affecting the Irish industry.

The “Show and Tell” campaign, spearheaded by the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO), aims to deliver a letter to Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s constituency office in Turner’s Cross, Cork.

The IS&WFPO says it has the co-operation with the Port of Cork Company and the Garda for the event, and is inviting the public to “come and view these vessels, meet the men and women who work these vessels, hear their stories and talk with our representatives”.

The protest fleet will assemble off Roches Point, Cork Harbour at 7 am on Wednesday, and a public address will be held at Horgan’s Quay, Cork at 12 noon, before the walk to Turner’s Cross.

The impact of the loss of 15 per cent overall of quota in the Brexit deal, the reintroduction of an administrative penalty points system, and the recent withdrawal of the EU control plan which means all fish catches have to be weighed on piers are issues which the protest aims to highlight.

The IS&WFPO says that “what makes this unbearable is that this is happening during a global pandemic, where the Irish fishing fleet was designated an essential service for the continuity of food supply”.

“Fishermen were asked to put aside their fears of being hundreds of miles away from medical help if it were needed for the benefit of our people,” it says.

Patrick Murphy, Chief Executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ OrganisationPatrick Murphy, Chief Executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation

“ One would think that our government should thank us like all others on the front line and recognise our vulnerability as an industry and the importance of maintaining the national fleet,”it says.

“Many businesses throughout the country, through no fault of their own, will not survive the current climate financially,” the IS&WFPO says.

“ The countless job losses, financial worries these people have of maintaining mortgage payments and putting food on their tables is unimaginable,” it says.

“ The vast majority of our members share these worries, but not because they cannot trade or continue the profession that was passed down to them from their fathers and mothers- but because their rights have been stripped away and they now find themselves the pawn on the chessboard of Europe to be sacrificed so larger countries may triumph,” it states.

Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogueMinister for Marine Charlie McConalogue

The organisation welcomes the recent setting up of a ministerial taskforce by Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue as “some recognition by Government that our industry is on the verge of collapse”.

Listen to Tom MacSweeney's podcast with IS&WFPO Chief Patrick Murphy here

Published in Fishing
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Royal Cork Yacht Club Keelboat training has been cancelled for this evening due to severe weather conditions on the South Coast.

The Keelboat Committee are planning a training session this Sunday 23rd May First Gun at 10.25 am. 

It is proposed to run a coastal training course for both White Sailors and Spinnaker Sailors.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club's cruiser-racer training went ahead as planned tonight at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour.

As Afloat reported earlier, the cruisers are being launched for training purposes this month. Racing itself won't resume until after June 7, so the training sessions will be used to get racers prepared and up to speed for events like the Sovereigns Cup and the resumption of evening cruiser racing next month.

The Grand Soleil 37 Prince of Tides (Above and below) The Grand Soleil 37 Prince of Tides Photo: Bob BatemanThe Grand Soleil 37 Prince of Tides

As well as the plan for RCYC keelboats, other adult sailors, including National 18s and Lasers, are being told by their Class Captains about restarting racing.

Listen to RCYC Rear Admiral Daragh Connolly on RCYC's plans to get back on the water on podcast here.

The HB 31 Luas and the larger Grand Soleil 40 NieulargoThe HB 31 Luas and the larger Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Cork Harbour
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On Thursday 13th May 2021, Cobh and Harbour Chamber will welcome members and guests to their fourth virtual breakfast series, in association with the Port of Cork. The theme of this week’s breakfast is ‘Cork Harbour – An International Energy Hub’ and boasts five speakers from local companies, such as Conor Mowlds Port of Cork, Pat O’Brennan Doyle Shipping Group, Mike King Irving Oil, Mick Horgan Green Rebel Marine and Brian Fitzgerald Simply Blue Energy Ltd.

Earlier in the year, Cork Harbour was pinpointed as a potential energy hub as it is perfectly positioned to support both transition and renewable energy activities and to the growing offshore wind sector. Cobh & Harbour Chamber are aiming to further explore this potential and discover the opportunities for the Harbour in greater detail at this week’s breakfast.

Cobh & Harbour Chamber President, Johanna Murphy said: ‘This sector has the potential to be really big for Cork Harbour and as a Chamber we want to support those companies involved and highlight to our members the benefits this sector could bring to the area.’

Brian Fitzgerald of Simply Blue Energy LtdBrian Fitzgerald of Simply Blue Energy Ltd

‘To date our breakfast series, in association with the Port of Cork have been very successful, however, this one is proving to draw the largest numbers of attendees, which shows the local interest in this sector and the appetite to be part of this exciting time for Cork Harbour.’

The Port of Cork, who are main sponsors for the 2021 Breakfast Series are also speaking at this event.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer Port of Cork said: ‘We are proud to sponsor these events which have been very popular among Cobh & Harbour Chamber members and non-members. We have a longstanding relationship with the Chamber and together we have seen business sectors grow and flourish. We hope now we will see the same happen for the energy sector, as we position Cork Harbour as an International Energy Hub.’

For anyone interested in this event, it will take place virtually on Thursday 13th May 2021 at 9.30 am, and attendees can register here https://www.cobhharbourchamber.ie/events/

Published in Cork Harbour
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Ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend, the Port of Cork and Cork Water Safety are issuing a safety message to all marine leisure users in Cork Harbour, as well as swimmers and jet ski users.

As the weather warms up and sports like rowing and sailing recommence the Port of Cork and Cork Water Safety want to remind users to be always safety conscious. A particular emphasis is on personal watercraft safety, in this case jet skis. Users are reminded to adhere to the 6 knots speed limit when within 60 m of a pier, jetty, slipway, mooring, shore or another vessel and 120 m of a swimmer or dive flag.

Freestyling is not permitted within 200m of swimmers, or the shoreline and users should always maintain a proper lookout for boats and keep clear of all other craft. Wearing a life jacket is essential and the engine kill switch must be used.

According to the Port of Cork Harbour Master, Captain Paul O’Regan, now is the time to consider all safety options before heading out on the water and to respect other users, wildlife & the environment.

He said: ‘It’s absolutely wonderful to see leisure users on the water around Cork Harbour, enjoying this fantastic amenity, but we want to ensure all activities are carried out safely. We see more and more people going to the piers and slipways in Cork Harbour to swim; we strongly advise people not to do this as tidal flows and currents at these areas can be very strong. Marine craft often use these piers and slipways and may not always see swimmers in the water, please instead swim at designated swimming areas.’

He continued: ‘We are also advising personal watercraft safety especially in the case of jet skis and new awareness signage has been erected at different locations around Cork Harbour to remind people of the safety procedures they should take.’

Cork Water Safety added: ‘With one of the busiest summers at our doorstep, it is vitally important to be mindful of water safety in the coming months. It is fantastic to see so many open water swimmers jumping and getting active during the pandemic. Let's try to keep ourselves safe as more of us flock to the water this summer!’

‘Tell someone you’re going for a swim and when you’ll be back. Wear a toefloat. Keep warm with an insulated rash vest and two hats. If possible, never swim alone. Only swim at designated swimming areas, especially in a busy harbour like the Port of Cork! Whether you are an experienced swimmer or new to the sport the advice stays the same. If you are new to the area, research and ask locally about the possible dangers e.g., currents, marine traffic, and leisure craft. Remember – Better Safe, Than Sorry.’

The Irish Coastguard recently launched their ‘BE ALERT TO WATER SAFETY’ campaign and reminded people if you see anybody in difficulty on the shore or in the water, dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in Cork Harbour
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Clubs are hoping to get young sailors back into activity with the easing of restrictions on training. However, as in all sports, there is some concern about the effects of the lengthy restrictions on youth's interest in sport.

Principal Coach at the Royal Cork in Crosshaven, Ben Fusco, says: "We are looking forward to the return to Junior Coaching on the May weekend. Preparations are well underway to get all of our junior and youth sailors back on the water and shaking off the cobwebs of an extended off-season. We have a robust training plan in place for each of the Classes."

With the easing of restrictions for junior training, Monkstown Bay SC in Cork Harbour says that it will be starting its Sunday morning coaching sessions for Optimists. It has also opened applications for this year's sailing courses. 

Applications will close at the end of May, the club says.

Published in Cork Harbour

Ballycotton RNLI all-weather Trent class lifeboat the Austin Lidbury was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard at 11.25 am yesterday to a report of a fishing vessel with engine failure approximately 5 miles off Flat Head, south of Cork Harbour

Conditions were fresh with a strong 5/6 knot easterly wind and clear visibility.

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Ballycotton RNLI arrived at the scene at approximately 11.50 am where they found the 13-metre catamaran fishing vessel being held in position by another fishing vessel. The crew of Ballycotton RNLI secured the vessel, ensuring the two crew on board the boat were safe and then proceeded to tow the boat into Cork dockyard where it was moored safely. 

Speaking following the callout, Peter O' Shea Ballycotton RNLI Mechanic said “On arrival, the fishing vessel was being held in position by another fishing boat. If they had not be able to secure a line to the boat it would have most likely ended up on the rocks due to the strong easterly winds. By towing the vessel to safety the outcome was positive for all involved”.

Broken down RIB

As the crew of Ballycotton RNLI prepared to return to the station they were alerted by radio to a report of a 6.5-metre semi-rigid pleasure boat with engine trouble anchored in Cobh harbour with two people on board. Ballycotton RNLI secured the boat and towed it into Cobh where it was safely brought alongside the pontoon and secured. The two people on board were both wearing lifejackets and had a radio which they used to call for assistance. 

All crew from Ballycotton RNLI returned safely at 4.00 pm. 

Ballycotton RNLI Crew:

  • Mike Hallihan - Coxswain
  • Peter O’Shea - Mechanic
  • Claire McCarthy
  • Eolan Breathnac
  • Sile Scanlon
  • Mike Kenneally
  • Ciaran Walsh
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Government has assigned responsibility for the remediation of the former factory site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour to the Department of Defence.

Minister Simon Coveney stated that with the successful remediation of the East Tip site into a 22-acre Public Park, the way is now clear for the remediation of the rest of the Island. The Minister paid tribute to the collaborative work carried out by Cork County Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine in turning the disused site into a public amenity, encompassing 4km of waterside paths and a 1km jogging circuit, complete with wildflowers areas and hundreds of new trees.

Haulbowline Amenity Park includes 4km of harbour side walkways, a 1km jogging circuit and numerous seating areas to stop and take in the views of Cork Harbour. The park has also been extensively landscapedHaulbowline Amenity Park includes 4km of harbour side walkways, a 1km jogging circuit and numerous seating areas to stop and take in the views of Cork Harbour. The park has also been extensively landscaped Photo: Cork County Council

There are spectacular views of Cork Harbour from Haulbowline Island(Above and below) There are spectacular views of Cork Harbour from Haulbowline Island Photo: Bob Bateman

Cobh as seen from Haulbowline Island Photo: Bob Bateman

The park has already become a significant community asset, which will continue to benefit the people of the harbour and environs into the future.

The highly anticipated recreational area will be a welcome addition for the Cork Harbour region and in particular for residents of RingaskiddyThe highly anticipated recreational area will be a welcome addition for the Cork Harbour region and in particular for residents of Ringaskiddy Photo: Bob Bateman

The project was undertaken in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in response to the need to remediate the East Tip. This remediation project was completed at a cost of €25m.

A nod to the Island's industrial past - the Blacksmith's hammer has been preserved on site(above and below) A nod to the Island's industrial past - the Blacksmith's hammer has been preserved on site Photo: Bob BatemanBlacksmith Hammer sign on Haulbowline island

The Minister emphasised that the continued participation of Cork County Council in overseeing the implementation of the remaining remediation works with his Department is crucial and welcomed the recognition that Government has given to the local authority’s expertise in this area.

Haulbowline Amenity Park includes 4km of harbour-side walkways, a 1km jogging circuitHaulbowline Amenity Park includes 4km of harbour-side walkways, a 1km jogging circuit Photo: Bob Bateman

The Minister indicated that he has already had preliminary discussions with senior officials in Cork County Council on the way forward and is looking forward to working with them in completing the final remediation project.

Bob Bateman's photo gallery below shows views of Haulbowline Island during the initial remedial works

Published in Cork Harbour
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Sixty-one years after the first Rankin came off a mould in Cobh, a new one has been built from the same mould.

"From the roots of this revered dinghy class in Cork Harbour, a new boat has been built," the Class announced.

This is part of the rebuild and restoration project through which Rankin enthusiasts have rekindled interest in the class.

The roots of the Rankins are to be found in the mid-1950s when Eddie Twomey and Eric Rankin produced the line drawings of the Rankin prototype. The first two prototype boats were built in July 1956 in Eric's workshop on Lynch's Quay, Cobh.

They were an integral part of the RCYC when it was based in Cobh. The boats proved extremely popular. Their light construction made them easy to handle and "effortless to row, motor or sail, so they were an ideal family boat for Cork Harbour conditions," the Rankin enthusiasts say. When the RCYC club moved to Crosshaven, "they became a choice mode of river transport, for commuting ashore long before the days of RIBs and the club marina was built," according to one of the leaders of the revival, Conor English in Crosshaven.

Like other dinghy classes over the years, collective sightings of Rankins sailing in Cork Harbour became a rare sight, but in 2014 a group of like-minded enthusiasts from Crosshaven, Cobh and Monkstown came together to see what could be done to revive interest in the Rankins.

Conor and Maurice Kidney in Cobh drove the revival strongly and garnered strong support. "They are a great boat and the support we've got since we started has been tremendous."

Plank 14 (the Whiskey plank) is fitted to the new RankinPlank 14 (the Whiskey plank) is fitted to the new Rankin dinghy Photo: Rankin Class Association

The result has been a big revival, which we've been following on Afloat and which has led to racing in Cove SC events, participation in the Traditional Sails events in the harbour and the Rankin ''World'' Championships as part of Cork Dinghy Fest in which 21 raced.

Altogether the revival has identified over 40 Rankins.

The new Rankin is a further step, built by Owen O'Connell in the workshop of his brother, Bud and with Dave O'Keeffe, the trio have been working on this 'lockdown' project for the past few months.

On this week's Podcast, Owen O'Connell tells me about the building of the new Rankin and that it is intended to have it on the water in May.

Published in Rankin Dinghy
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