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Displaying items by tag: SFPC

#ShannonGrowth - Tonnage growth at Ireland’s largest bulk port, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) revealed that the 2015 throughput was almost back to the peak of the last decade and this is evidence of the recovery taking hold in the regions.

SFPC handled just over 11.1m tons in 2015, up from just over 10.1million in 2014, and this comes off the back of a €2.8m profit recorded in its most recent annual accounts, for 2014. Tonnages in 2015 saw the company, which operates six ports on the Shannon Estuary and facilitates international trade valued at over €6bn, almost return to peak levels (11.35m tons) in 2006.

Announcing 2015 tonnages this week, SFPC said that the company is achieving the growth targets revealed three years ago with the launch of its masterplan, Vision 2041, and that this reaffirms the need for major investment in road and rail infrastructure to ensure its potential can be maximised. The tonnages also copper-fastens the company’s position as the largest dry bulk port in the country.

Cargo volumes last year at the SFPC general cargo terminals at Limerick and Foynes were particularly robust with 10.73% year on year growth. Among the key growth sectors were petroleum products tonnages, which increased by 7.4% and cement exports, which rose by over 200%. Agri related cargo also grew steadily, with trades such as fertilisers increasing by over 4%.

SFPC CEO Patrick Keating said, “This growth reflects the resurgence in the domestic and export economy and, of course, in our own business. SFPC is a really good economic indicator for the region. We had some challenging years but the turn-around in our business has been remarkable, to the extent that we are now almost replicating tonnages from the height of the last decade and expect to surpass those levels over the coming years.

“We are very confident about the potential of the Shannon Estuary as a major economic engine room for this region thanks to its unrivalled natural water depths. This year alone we have completed the biggest investment in quayside infrastructure in any Irish port so far this decade with the infill of our East Jetty, as part a wider €50m capital spend at Foynes. Our investment programme is also attracting significant private interest, with €40m in private investment also now coming on stream.”

SFPC Chairman Michael Collins also commenting on the port performance said, “SFPC is proving one of the great success stories of the recovery in this region. This impressive turnaround is very much down to a dynamic team and its determination to deliver the robust but attainable targets we have set for the company.

“Last year was another very solid year in terms of traffic throughput but future growth can only be sustained by delivering additional capacity and putting the road and rail infrastructure in place. If this doesn’t happen, the company’s potential to be a major engine for growth in this region will be curtailed.”

Published in Shannon Estuary

#PortRivals – Objections by Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) to the expansion of Galway Port are "spurious", "without any sound basis", and motivated by "self-interest" says Independent Galway West T.D. Noel Grealish.

Dep Grealish launched a blistering attack on the Limerick based company during an oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála into the planned €126m port redevelopment in Galway city, accusing the SFPC of objecting to the proposed development "simply for their own financial gain".

"Foynes seem to think they have a God-given right to take all the business along the western seaboard," he said. "They don't want any other port to compete with them in any way and they are afraid if Galway gets the go-ahead they will be at a loss."

For more on this story, the Galway Advertiser reports here and follows a previous report elsewhere, which referred to SPFC as one of several opposing the proposed project.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FoynesJettyProject - The Limerick Leader writes that the name of the successful contractor who will carry out a multi-million upgrade of the east jetty at Foynes will be announced shortly by Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The project, which the SFPC says will cost in excess of €10m, will be the largest single investment at Foynes port since the extension of the west jetty in 1999.

The project is part of the port company's masterplan, Vision 2041, in which it anticipated that the east jetty project would deliver some 150 jobs at the construction stage.

The work on the east jetty is expected to be completed in two phases. To read more about both stage of the project and more click HERE.

 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#SFPCrecordProfit – Record profits at Shannon Foynes Port Company were announced in their annual report for 2013, which revealed record operating and gross profits.

SFPC is Ireland's second largest bulk port company and operates six ports on the Shannon Estuary, including Limerick Port.

This is the company's fourth successive year in achieving record operating profits, showing a 35 percent increase in Operating Profit at €4.1m, up from €3.1m in 2012.

The Limerick Leader has more on this to report, by clicking HERE.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FoynesPort – Shannon Foynes Port Company CEO Pat Keating has described the procurement of engineering consultancy services for the Foynes to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme as a hugely significant moment in realising the enormous investment and employment potential of the estuary.

The scheme will provide a high quality road to connect the Port of Foynes with the M7/N18 at Limerick. The N69 National Secondary Road currently connects Foynes to Limerick along 32km of single carriageway.

Welcoming the announcement by Limerick City and County Council, Mr Keating said that the development of the high-quality road between Foynes and Limerick would be a 'game-changing' moment for the port company.

"This commitment is one of the most important developments in the history of Shannon Foynes Port Company. Its benefits will be felt not just by the Port Company but by the wider region as this road is a central piece to facilitate our plans for very significant economic growth along the Shannon Estuary.

"We are planning to double tonnage at our ports and anticipate significant job creation on the estuary over the next 30 years. We have signaled that two key pieces of infrastructure are critical for this to happen.

One is the regeneration of the rail link to Foynes, which we are actively seeking to advance, and the other is the development of a quality road link to Limerick.

"The road link is an absolutely essential piece for us. We have a huge opportunity to attract investment and industry over the coming decades thanks to the advantage that the estuary's unique deep-water gives us. But we will not be able to deliver on these plans unless there is a quality transport network.

"Heavy goods traffic alone could increase by as much as 350% over the life time of our Vision 2041 Masterplan. The N69 is inadequate as things stand, let alone with a tripling of heavy goods traffic. The development of this high quality road to connect Foynes with Limerick is, therefore, essential. Otherwise growth will be seriously constrained and opportunities will be lost."

Mr Keating said that the announcement is a definite show of commitment to the project by the Department of Transport, the NRA, the Mid West National Roads Design Office and the local authority.

"We cited the importance of this road link when we launched Vision 2041 and to have such a prompt commitment is very encouraging. We look forward now to the selection of a preferred route in 2014, followed by the public consultation process and then on to the actual delivery of the new road."

 

Published in Shannon Estuary

#ShannonEXERCISE- A two-day exercise held on the Shannon Estuary last week was a first in Europe, in that it involved testing Smartly Remotely Operated Submarines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The exercise replicating the scenario of a 43,000 tonne container ship 'Marée Noire' suffering hull damage when impacting with rock entering the Shannon Estuary due to loss of steering and floundering off the coast of Scattery Island.

The estuary off Co. Clare has become a key European test site for a range of highly advanced 'smart technologies' Marine Robots and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The University of Limerick is leading the integration and deployment of the underwater and aerial technologies, within this exercise as part of a European Research Collaboration NETMAR which has Irish, UK, French, Spanish and Portuguese partners.

The exercise is a first in terms of scale and use of robotic platforms as part of Ireland's largest marine emergency response exercise to deal with a major environmental disaster.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#OLYMPIC SHIP - A 82,562 dwt dry bulk-carrier, London 2012, weighed anchor today having recently docked at the Aughinish Alumina jetty, on the Shannon Estuary, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Liberian flagged vessel which has a draft of more than 14m had docked at Aughinish, one of six terminals operated by Shannon Foynes Port Co, near Askeaton, Co. Limerick. The facility is where large sized ships can reach by plying the deep waters of the mid-western waterway that has some 500sq km of navigable estuary.

Following completion of operations of London 2012 at the Aughinish terminal, which is the largest alumina refinery in Europe, the vessel departed the jetty dedicated to importing bauxite to the Russian owned RUSAL plant, and proceeded to anchorage beyond the mouth of the Shannon.

The 229m long X 32m beam vessel had anchored some 3 nautical miles offshore of Ballybunion. The west Kerry venue is another place strongly associated with sport through its world famous golf course, situated on a spectacular stretch of coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

London 2012 and her sister Beijing 2008, belong to a fleet of approximately 70 vessels, totalling a capacity of 8 million deadweight tons (dwt) and are managed by Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (TCM) S.A. of Greece.

The Athens based TCM was only established in July 2010, as a joint venture between Tsakos Shipping and Trading S.A. and Schoeller Holdings Ltd, the owner and operator of Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd.

No doubt her Greek owners will make an opportunity for a vessel to continue in the Olympic spirit by sporting the name Rio de Janeiro 2016. As for golf fans, they too can look forward to the return of the sport in these Games.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#SHANNON PORTS- A draft masterplan Vision 2041, to develop port infrastructure and services for the Shannon Estuary over the next three decades, has been published by Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC).

The masterplan for Ireland's second largest port which has six terminals along the 500sq km navigable estuary, has specifically targeted growth and expansion options. Also identified are capacity and associated port infrastructure requirements, where SFPC has called for improved road and rail access.

In addition the masterplan is to take into consideration of non-core assets facilities at Foynes Port and Limerick Docks which consists of the single (Ted Russell) Dock basin.

Vision 2041 recognises the strategic need of the estuary to be in position to ensure future capability in handling larger trade volumes efficiently and competitively when the opportunities arise.

The masterplan has concentrated in identifying three key major objectives:

Significant expansion and infrastructural development in the deepwater Port of Foynes

Promoting non-core assets in Limerick Docks for alternative port / non port related activities

Managing the natural attributes of the estuary and its destination as an Ocean Energy Hub

The objectives of Vision 2041 are to realise the economic potential of the natural resource along the Shannon Estuary and developing positive promotion of the ports as a strategic economic driver for the Mid-West Region.

Copies of the SFPC Vision 2014 masterplan can be downloaded from clicking this LINK or alternatively a digital copy can be requested by contacting the Masterplan Team at 069 73100. The deadline for written submissions concerning the draft Masterplan is up to and incl. 1st February, see website for postal address and email details.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#SHANNON ESTUARY – The Maritime Journal reports that a simulated fire and rescue drill simulating a fire on board a ship took place in Foynes Port this week.

Limerick County Fire & Rescue Service with the assistance of Shannon Foynes Port Company and Celtic Tugs which operates a fleet of  tugs in the port hosted the Ship and Ports Course.

A number of exercises were carried out during the course, to read more on the exercise click HERE.

Published in Shannon Estuary
A masterplan for Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), the state's second largest port operation, is to look into the marine infrastructural requirements for the next three decades along the 500 sq km Shannon Estuary, writes Jehan Ashmore.
SFPC's Masterplan Achieving the Vision 2041 will be a public consultation process and with the participation of port's stakeholders and interested parties. The masterplan aims to capitalise on the significant growth potential and focus promoting the port as a strategic economic driver for the mid-west region.

Port expansion options are to be examined so to prepare ports for larger trade volumes when the opportunities arise. Also under consideration are the non-core assets at the Port of Foynes and Limerick Docks. To read more about the masterplan and the challenges and issues that has been identified in both ports click HERE.

The statutory jurisdiction of the estuary is under the control of SFPC, which is responsible for the estuary that runs from the mouth entrance marked by Kerry and Loop Heads and stretching far inland to Limerick City. The natural waterway can handle vessels of up to 200,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt) which are the largest ships that can dock in Irish waters.

Published in Shannon Estuary
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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