Bechtel to Help Irish Port Unlock Offshore Wind Opportunities

Engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel has been selected by Shannon Foynes Port Company to update its Vision 2041 masterplan to accommodate offshore and onshore investment within and adjacent to its harbor in Ireland.

Bechtel will support Shannon Foynes Port Company in considering how to deliver significant growth and expansion of the port, including how it can support the burgeoning offshore wind industry, as well as the production of alternative shipping fuels.

Shannon Foynes Port is situated in Ireland’s deepest sheltered commercial harbor with jurisdiction over all marine activities on a 500-kilometre square area on the Shannon Estuary, stretching from Kerry to Loop Head to Limerick City.

The port is said to be well positioned near the Atlantic wind resource that will be essential to Ireland reaching its ambition to generate 20 GW of offshore wind by 2050.

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The expanded facilities at Shannon Foynes would include hydrogen and ammonia production facilities for long-term energy storage and will also consider the export of the renewable energy/fuels produced.

Bechtel’s role will be to assess and refresh the port’s masterplan, known as Vision 2041, to best leverage these advantages and further boost growth and support the region’s emerging offshore wind industry.

”Nine years ago, Vision 2041 was considered a very ambitious masterplan, yet we have since met all the higher-end growth targets identified for the interim period. In it we also identified the opportunity ahead for what were then only emerging sectors, such as offshore renewables,” said Patrick Keating, Chief Executive of SFPC.

”The Estuary is now viewed not alone by SFPC but the sector internationally as an emerging renewable energy supply-chain hub. In addition, there is the complementary growth potential for the estuary as a major logistics center. The acceleration of these opportunities necessitates the updating of Vision 2041 so that we have a strategic roadmap for realizing the unprecedented opportunity for the company, the region and, indeed, the State.”

Shannon Foynes Port is the biggest industrial employer in the region and currently has the capacity to handle over 10-million tonnes annually, Bechtel said.

The expansion, including a new one-kilometre-long dock, will increase capacity to 20-million tonnes annually and will be accommodated by up to 1,200 hectares of land zoned for strategic development.

”There is an increasingly strong case for investing in port infrastructure to support the growth in offshore wind, and the importance of creating local supply chains cannot be underestimated,” said John Williams, Bechtel’s managing director for the UK and Ireland.

”Ports act as focal points during the manufacturing, installation, and operation of offshore wind farms, and Shannon Foynes is strategically ideal to support Ireland’s offshore wind industry, as well as expand to play an even greater role in European shipping. We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Shannon Foynes Port Company on their masterplan update.”

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Photo: Shannon Foynes Port Company