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In total the National Roads Authority (NRA) will have 25,000 tonnes of salt available during the Christmas week, with 3,000 tonnes distributed to authorities on a daily basis. As a priority the salt will be used to grit the national primary network.
The second bout of artic conditions that has gripped the country with temperatures plummeting to -17 degrees in the west and -15 degrees is forecast tonight in the north-west. Further snowfalls are also due in various regions tonight and with sub-zero temperatures expected to last up to St. Stephens Day. As such the demand for salt supplies has soared resulting in shipments sourced from overseas countries to include Turkey and Egypt.
CFL Prospect (see video-clip here) is owned by the Dutch shipping company, Kees Koolhof which since 2006 has built up a fleet of modern vessels to trade in the short-sea sector. The 2007 built vessel is one of nine Jumbo 6500s from a series completed by the Peters Shipyard at Krampen.
Two vessels, the CSL Prospect and Olivia are heading for the Port of Cork with a combined cargo of 11,500 tonnes of salt. In the meantime councils are coping with rapidly dwindling supplies to keep the main roads gritted over the weekend. If the councils fail to ration supplies, the authorities will quickly run out of salt, sparking a crisis for motorists. For more on this story click here.
The Port of Cork added that these salt-shipments will continue beyond next week. In addition to next weeks delivery, more vessels will be calling to the port, bringing in total 35,000 tonnes of salt over the next few weeks.
According to weather forecasts, there will be significant accumulations of snow expected in most parts of the country. Up to 10cm of snow may fall over the next few days. For information on the latest weather updates logon to www.met.ie/forecasts/