Cork gets go-ahead for €100m plan to 'future-proof' port
Cork has received the go-ahead for an ambitious €100m port expansion.
The project will allow a major development of the deepwater facility at Ringaskiddy and the opening up of major land banks near Cork city for redevelopment.
An Bord Pleanala (ABP) granted planning permission for the project following an oral hearing into the development last September.
Port of Cork chief executive, Brendan Keating, said it was an historic day for the port and the entire south-western regional economy.
Cork will now shift freight traffic from its 400-year-old upper quays to the rapidly expanding deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy, some 20km from Cork city.
"Being able to accommodate larger vessels is of utmost importance if the Port of Cork is to remain competitive and continue to meet the needs of our customers and the economic developmental needs of the region," he said.
"The ABP decision will enable us to do this and, in turn, future-proof Cork as an international gateway for trade."
"We will be consulting further with residents and with all harbour users in relation to the development," Mr Keating said.
Cork wants to shift the emphasis from its old Tivoli facility in Cork's upper harbour to the deep water berth in Ringaskiddy.
This will allow them to transfer the bulk of freight business out of Tivoli and to Ringaskiddy which can handle huge modern transatlantic cargo ships, double the size of the vessels currently using the upper harbour.
Ireland imports and exports 98pc of goods by ship with the maritime freight trade from Cork alone worth €14bn per annum.
The €100m project is a scaled-down version of the deepwater proposal initially envisaged for Cork's development.
Waterford formally objected to the larger plan seven years ago.
Cork officials furiously accused them at the time of being "anti-competitive."
ABP rejected the original €150m proposal for Oyster Bank in 2008.
The current plan is a revision of that.