By Dan Walsh
A €350 million masterplan covering various facets of development at Rosslare Europort and plans to establish an offshore renewable energy hub were announced yesterday.
Plans are now being put place to bring the Offshore Renewable Energy hub to the planning permission stage while financial consultants have been appointed to develop a detailed business case and put together funding options.
A €200 million plan to build the necessary infrastructure to allow wind energy companies use the port to harvest electricity generated offshore.
The blueprint for the Europort’s future also includes enhanced passenger and freight facilities, new import and export services, a permanent border control post, digitalisation of all operations and systems, and a new N25 access route to take heavy traffic out of Rosslare village.
Management at Rosslare has also been engaging over the last 18 months with wind energy developers to allow them to put in place requirements for the industry such as deeper channels undersea, more berths and a wider area of land.
General Manager Glenn Carr said; “Rosslare Europort is the closest port to where a lot of the wind farm developments will be happening in the Irish and Celtic Sea.
“We’re an ideal port to be developed, we’re going to deepen the port to about 11 metres, reclaim up to 50 acres of land and dedicated berths of up to 350 metres in length, providing what the industry – following consultation with all of the developers that are entering the market – with what they need over the next number of decades.”
Chief Executive Officer of Íarnród Éireann, who own the port, Jim Meade said the masterplan “signifies the importance we place on Rosslare as a key facility and a key piece of infrastructure, for the railway and for Ireland as a whole”.
He said there will be up to 2,000 jobs created during the forthcoming developments.
Wind Energy Ireland’s head of policy Niall Goodwin said it’s important that ports in Ireland can support the development of offshore energy generation. “By 2030, we will hopefully have five giga-watts of offshore wind [energy] on the system. There are some steps we need to take before we get to that and a lot of it is in relation to making sure we give certainty to the international supply chain and making sure our plans are very clear in terms of where we’re going.”