OUR PORTS ARE OUR DOOR TO THE WORLD
Through them, the exports Ireland makes and the imports it needs, are transported. Over 90 per cent of Irish exports and imports move by sea. Our ports are also the entrance door for travellers by sea. They are vital to Ireland’s economy. In the past week there have been major developments at our ports, though not always widely reported in the national media. Regrettably, the maritime sphere is not given the extensive reportage it should receive as the most important conduit of our island nation. This weekend’s edition of the Maritime Ireland Radio Show & Podcast Newsletter, highlights what has been happening in our ports. This weekend developments at two of the country’s ports – Cork and Rosslare – were the top stories and there were others.
TOP MARITIME STORIES THIS WEEK
1 – Rosslare Europort, now describing itself as the ‘Gateway to Europe,’ which is operated under the aegis of Iarnrod Eireann, announced a major investment plan. Europort Manager, Glenn Carr, revealed details of a planned investment of €200m. to create an offshore wind hub (Image is artist’s impression of the development) which, the port says, has the capacity to create 2,000 jobs in the South East,
2 – Cork Port Company brought its new container terminal at Ringaskiddy in the Lower Harbour area into operation. This is an investment of €85m. which, the Port’s Chief Commercial Officer, Conor Mowlds, says is “a monumental milestone, the largest investment in our 250-year history.”
3 – Dublin Port announced that volumes if cargo were up 13.7% in the first quarter of this year. Unitised trade with the UK recovered strongly, increasing by 23 per cent and unitised trade with EU countries continued to grow, increasing by 1.8 per cent. These were encouraging figures against the background of a large decline in in the same period last year because of Brexit. Cargo throughput grew by 8.9 million gross tonnes.
4 – Waterford Port welcomed its first cruise liner in two years. Norwegian expedition cruise liner, Maud, made her maiden call, the first cruise ship to visit there since the pandemic disruption. She is named after one of the most famous Polar vessels -Roald Amundsen’s ‘Maud’ and arrived with over 500 passengers on board and 300 crew members. Maud will make more calls this Sumer. Waterford Harbour Master Capt. Darren Doyle said 27 cruise vessels will call to Waterford by the end of September with a total of 35,000 passengers and 16,000 crew members. “This will deliver a much-needed boost to the regional tourism economy of €3.5m.”
5 – Galway Port announced plans to become Ireland’s first “hydrogen hub” – dedicated to developing hydrogen as an alternative energy source, with offshore wind being a key factor. The Galway Hydrogen Hub – GH2 – will involve combining the resources and expertise of seven groups, including the Port of Galway and NUI Galway.
6 – Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s new ‘primary passenger ship tender pontoon’ was used for passengers from the second cruise-liner visit of the season to the Co.Dublin port. The 40m x 4.5m floating pontoon is located at No 4 berth on the east side of St Michael’s Pier.
7 – Cork Harbour had its first cruise liner caller since the pandemic disruption – the Borealis of Fred Olsen Line, with 2,000 passengers.