Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Ports Policy

Photo of Maurice QuinlivanMaurice Quinlivan (Limerick City, Sinn Fein)
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169. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the engagements his Department had with a company (details supplied) following the launch of its Vision 2041 Masterplan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62781/22]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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As Minister for Transport, I was delighted to be invited down to launch Shannon Foynes Port Company’s review of their Vision 2041 Masterplan in November 2022. Since then, there has been ongoing engagement with my department and the provision of support and assistance to realise this project.

Shannon Foynes Port Company is Ireland’s second largest port based on tonnage and is located beside one of the best wind resources in Europe. The report sets out the blueprint for the Shannon Estuary to become a hub for facilitating the development of offshore wind, along with the production of clean fuels – including green hydrogen, ammonia and methanol. The report demonstrated the company’s commitment to sustainability, climate action and renewable energy while also the commitment of Shannon Foynes Port Company as a driver of economic growth in the Shannon Estuary, the region and nationally.

This report is in line with Ireland’s ambitious plans with regard to the development of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) in the seas around Ireland and aligns with Government Policy I published last December on the facilitation of ORE by Irish Commercial Ports.

This policy identified that four to five port facilities (each capable of building 500 MW of ORE annually) will be required for deployment activity and multiple ports, both on the east and west coast, will be needed for O&M operations.

Following the Government decision on 14thSept 2022, that all work, planning and consents, relating to ORE be prioritised across Departments, officials in my department are prioritising all workstreams with ongoing engagement with other departments.

My department continues to encourage engagement between the ports and developers and in 2022, the Ports Co-ordination Group was established to coordinate port responses and maintain policy in the development of offshore renewable energy.

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