The Ireland-based Shannon Foynes Port Company is investing EUR 28 million in jetty infrastructure and a port logistics park, aimed at transforming the Shannon Estuary into an international supply chain hub for floating offshore wind.
The investment, co-funded by the EU’s “Connecting Europe Facility”, will help expand the quayside area by an additional 117 metres through the linking of the existing east and west jetties at the port, and support the building of a new 127,000 square feet (approximately 11,798 square metres) logistics facility.
Planning permission and foreshore consent have been secured, which will be an important element in a planned 38 hectare port logistics park “that will have the potential for a future 400,000 square feet (approximately 37,161 square metres) of warehousing” the company hopes to develop over the next 15 years.
Work on the new jetty and associated set down are currently underway following construction procurement, while work on the logistics park will start in the third quarter of this year, said Shannon Foynes Port Company.
All works are expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.
The company aims to become the supply chain facilitator for an Atlantic floating offshore wind energy hub and related hydrogen production to meet the climate action targets, commented Pat Keating, Shannon Foynes Port Company Chief Executive.
“We have some of the most consistent winds in the world off the west coast, the technology now in place to harness those winds through floating offshore wind and, in the Shannon Estuary, the deep and sheltered waters necessary to build the floating devices before they are brought out into open ocean waters,” said Keating.
“The world’s leading players in this space want to invest here and leading nations, such as Germany, want the green hydrogen we can generate from this almost limitless renewable energy. But for all this to happen, we need to invest heavily in our infrastructure and the plans we are announcing today are significant step in that regard.”
The port company estimates that renewable energy-related investment in the Shannon Estuary could worth EUR 12 billion by 2050, creating up to 30,000 jobs.
Last year, the Irish energy company ESB and Equinor joined forces to develop the 1.4 GW Moneypoint floating wind farm off the West Coast of Ireland which is said to support wider plans of Shannon Foynes Port.
Once complete, the wind farm will be capable of powering more than 1.6 million homes in Ireland, ESB said.
ESB’s plans also included investment in green hydrogen production, storage, and generation facility at Moneypoint to help make the Shannon Estuary a focal point for the offshore wind industry in Europe, the company said.
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