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#CruiseLiners - Belfast Harbour has submitted a planning application for a new cruise liner berth at Belfast Lough, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Belfast city councillors are this week expected to discuss the proposals for a £15 million (€16.5 million) terminal to handle growing cruise visitor numbers.

It’s the latest in a number of cruise berth plans around the island of Ireland, following similar proposals for Cobh on Cork Harbour and a revival of Dun Laoghaire’s large-scale liner ambitions.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#PilotBoats - Belfast Harbour has completed its £2 million deal with Redbay Boats for two new pilot boats to service the city’s busy waterfront, as The Irish News reports.

Already on service is the Captain Michael Evans named after the Belfast’s former deputy harbour master who was killed in the Manx2 Flight 7100 crash in Cork in 2011.

It’s now been joined by the Ben Madigan — also a Stormforce 1650, a new design by Redbay Boats based in Cushendall, Co Antrim, and celebrating 40 years in business this year.

The Irish News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade

#BelfastHarbour - Belfast Harbour’s latest annual report shows a record €36.6 million in profits, according to The Irish Times.

The 12% rise in operating profits in 2016 comes with a 7% increase in turnover within the same 12-month period to more than €66 million.

This boost to Belfast’s bank balance has been driven by an increase in cargo throughput to more than 23 million tonnes, and revenue from its significant property portfolio around Belfast Lough.

Landholding interests of the harbour company — whose CEO Roy Adair will step down next year — include George Best Belfast City Airport and the new Belfast Harbour Studio at Giant’s Park, which will host the shoot for new US sci-fi TV series Krypton this summer.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#PortCEO - Belfast Harbour have confirmed that CEO, Roy Adair CBE is to retire from the Port business in the Spring of 2018.

The CEO has for more than 12 years presided over an extremely successful development phase of Belfast Harbour delivering 12 consecutive years of growth. During this time the business has diversified through investment in both Port and Property activities.

Since 2005 Belfast Harbour has invested almost £250m in capital projects. This has included the single biggest capital investment the Port has ever made in the form of the £50m wind turbine D1 Renewable Energy Terminal.

During Adair's period in charge of the business he has overseen continued growth in Port trade activities and the expansion of the property side of the business which has seen the City Quays development emerge. The waterfront developement is delivering much needed Grade ‘A’ office space and hotel rooms for Belfast and the regional economy.

The Harbour has also invested in new and emerging industries exemplified by the recent completion of the £20m Belfast Harbour Studios making Northern Ireland the best catered for UK region in film production after London.

In addition to this the CEO has held a number of non-executive roles locally, nationally and internationally including Chairman of Business in the Community and serving as Prince Charles’ Ambassador for Social Responsibility.

The port has now started the process to appoint a successor for the role of CEO with adverts in local and national press.

Published in Belfast Lough

#StoneExports - A Belfast Harbour based firm Conexpo that operates stone quarries has won a Dutch order as part of its exports to surface Europe’s busiest roads.

The company won the export order to supply 55,000 tonnes to reconstruct 26km of the road network near Limburg, the southernmost province of the Netherlands. The contract follows a 200,000 tonne order for the newly constructed A15 extension which serves the Port of Rotterdam and which is Europe’s busiest motorway.

Conexpo sources one million tonnes of high quality gritstone annually from its County Down quarries. The stone is processed and exported from its £5m quayside plant located on a seven-hectare site in Belfast Harbour Estate.

Opened in 2015 it’s the only facility in Europe which can simultaneously produce aggregates to UK and European standards. The County Down stone is highly sought after for its ability to improve skid resistance and reduce road noise by up to six decibels.

Jonathan McCluskey, Conexpo’s Managing Director, said: “In partnership with Belfast Harbour we’ve been able to develop a bespoke shipping terminal and processing plant which provides some of the world’s highest quality stone.

“County Down quarry gritstone is increasingly in high demand and has been used in road projects from Hong Kong to Rotterdam, not just for initial construction, but also long-term re-surfacing requirements. Our Belfast Harbour facility has the potential to produce 6,000 tonnes every day, crushing and screening precision-sized stone for the complex honeycomb structures used in modern road surfaces.”

Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s Commercial Director, added: “Stone exports by Conexpo are one of the most significant commodities handled at Belfast Harbour, representing our fastest growing commodity sector over the last five years.

“Belfast Harbour has worked with Conexpo since it was established 25-years ago, developing facilities to support its ambitious growth plans. Northern Ireland’s quarry sector provides significant economic and employment opportunities and the Harbour will continue to support Conexpo as it continues to develop new export markets.”

Established over 25 years ago, Conexpo employs 45 people directly and supports a further 50 jobs, mainly in the haulage sector. Family owned, the company operates two quarries in County Down and also procures 100,000’s of tonnes of stone from neighbouring County Down quarries.

Published in Belfast Lough

#Rescue - A multi-agency response was launched after a woman fell from a quay in Belfast Harbour onto the banks of the River Lagan on Saturday (25 February).

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the woman sustained injuries to her head and limbs after apparently slipping from the quayside onto the rocky riverbank.

Her calls for help were heard across the harbour at the offices of Sunday Life by a reporter, who raised the alarm around noon.

Teams from Lagan Search and Rescue, the NI Fire Service, PSNI and ambulance crews joined the coastguard boat that recovered the woman from the scene in Victoria Channel.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - A Belfast Harbour policeman jumped into action on Sunday night (8 January) to rescue a young woman from the waters behind the city’s SSE Arena, as BelfastLive reports.

Police constable and lifeboat volunteer Scott Harkins was part of a team of emergency responders who went to the aid of the woman, in her 20s, who was visiting Belfast with family for an ice hockey game.

Constable Harkins was first on scene and wasted no time in pulling on a lifejacket and leaping into the cold waters of Abercorn Basin to recover the casualty and keep her afloat at the quayside.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#ShippingReviewJehan Ashmore reviews the shipping scene over the last fortnight where among the stories are outlined below.

The Port of Waterford reported increases in 2015 across all categories shipped in to and out of the port at Belview.

Uncertainty about China’s economic performance and slowing trade growth will make 2016 a difficult year for shipping executives according to one leading analyst.

European Sea Port Organisation and maritime industry stakeholders co-signed a joint declaration for the recently adopted EU Operational Guidelines on Places of Refuge.

A new director was appointed to UK's top energy port of Milford Haven. Natalie Britton will be tasked among other roles in bringing new business to the Welsh waterway that includes Pembroke ferryport.

Belfast Harbour handled around 23m tonnes in 2015, similar to its throughput for the preceding year.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CruiseBelfast – Belfast Harbour is to play host to almost 115,000 cruise visitors in 2015, with the first cruiseship Voyager having arrived earlier this morning from Iceland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Voyages of Discovery 540 passenger cruiseship opened the season having called to Reykjavik for passengers to witness a total eclipse of the sun. Voyager has 270 cabins in which 87% have ocean views and 35 spacious suites, of those 30 feature balconies.

The 15,396 tonnes ship which is operating 'turnaround' cruises from Portsmouth International Port has recently been awarded the Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Award for Best Itineraries. This is where Voyager's call today will offer cruise-goers to visit Northern Ireland's many sights and attractions not just in Belfast but throughout Ulster.

Among the cruise lines calling to the city, are Princess Cruises, Celebrity, All Leisure, Silversea, Majestic, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, Saga Cruises. 

A notable caller will be the return of Royal Princess, the biggest ever cruiseship to have visited Beflast port when the Princess Cruises giant last year made her debut call in September.

The giant 141,000 tonnes ship is firstly to call this May and the 3,560 passenger cruiseship is to make several repeat calls scheduled throughout the season.  She  has 1,780 cabins in which 1,438 with balcony (all outside staterooms feature a balcony).

For further details, visit the Belfast Harbour Cruise caller list, click here.

Published in Cruise Liners

#NewChairman - Belfast Harbour has a new chairman, David Dobbin, who has been on the port's board from 2012, made his first statement since his appointment last month.

Taking the helm of the harbour's new pilot boat, built by local boat builder Red Bay Boats, Dobbin took the opportunity to set out his vision for the business.

"Belfast Harbour is first and foremost a major port which makes a vital contribution to Northern Ireland's economy handling almost three quarters of all of Northern Ireland's sea borne trade. As the incoming Chairman I am committed to ensuring that Belfast continues to be the most modern and efficient port on the island. With over 23 million tonnes of cargo and 1.4 million ferry and cruise ship passengers passing through the Port annually, it is Northern Ireland's primary gateway to rest of the world.

To read more of his statement, click here.

Published in Belfast Lough
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