Dublin Port's 2015 freight levels exceed boom record
Dublin Port has notched up a record year, with total freight throughput rising 6.4pc in 2015.
That beat the previous record set in 2007, when 30.9m tonnes of freight passed through the facility. Last year, the figure was 32.8m gross tonnes. There were 7,166 ship arrivals.
The level of imports at Dublin Port last year rose 6.5pc to 19.5m tonnes, while exports were 6.4pc higher at 13.3m tonnes.
Eamon O'Reilly, chief executive of the semi-state company that operates the port, said that last year had been "exceptional" for the facility.
"We have seen growth over the past three years of 17.3pc and are now well ahead of where we were at the height of the boom in 2007," he said.
Last year, Dublin Port Company received planning permission for its Alexandra Basin redevelopment project. It's the biggest port development project ever in Ireland. The five-year project will cost about €230m and will see nearly half of the port's berths lengthened and deepened to help accommodate larger vessels, including cruise ships.
It will also involve the dredging of a 10km stretch of seabed from the East Link Bridge out the Dublin Bay Buoy. The European Investment Bank has provided €100m in finance for the Alexandra Basin project.
"Our growth in recent years has been driven by the investment decisions of our major customers including Irish Ferries, Stena Line, Seatruck, CLdN, Doyle Shipping Group and Ecocem, and it is essential that we match these customers' commitments by investing in nationally important port infrastructure in Dublin, the country's premier port," said Mr O'Reilly.
The number of ferry passengers passing through Dublin Port rose 5.1pc to just under 1.8m.