Bechtel to deliver port masterplan to support Ireland’s emerging offshore wind industry
05 May 2022
Shannon Foynes Port is a major contributor to the Irish economy and expansion will establish its status as a key hub for European trade and renewable energy
Shannon Foynes Port Company has selected Bechtel to update its Vision 2041 masterplan to accommodate offshore and onshore investment within and adjacent to its harbor in Ireland. Bechtel will support SFPC 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 that could transform Shannon Foynes into a leading European port.
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. Alongside the world’s busiest shipping routes and with water depths of up to 32-metres, the port is uniquely positioned to expand as a cargo hub serving the domestic, European and worldwide markets. The port is the biggest industrial employer in the region and currently has the capacity to handle over 10-million tonnes annually. The expansion, including a new 1-kilometer-long dock, will increase capacity to 20-million tonnes annually and will be accommodated by up to 1200 hectares of land zoned for strategic development.
The port is also well positioned near the Atlantic wind resource that will be essential to Ireland reaching its ambition to generate 20GW of offshore wind by 2050. 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,” continued Keating. “This is a critical moment for us and we are delighted to have Bechtel supporting us. Their portfolio spanning infrastructure, renewables, fuel production, and financing, makes them uniquely qualified to help us maximize the benefits of our deep-water advantage and our expansion plan, along with the job creation, supplier opportunities, economic growth that it will bring. We look forward to finalizing this over the coming months and unveiling this ambition to place Ireland at the global toptable for renewable energy and logistics.”
“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 materplan update."