Port looks to a bright future
Drogheda Port Company, supported by leading experts from Brady Shipman Martin, are working on a Master Plan for the future of the Port that will run from 2020-2050.
Earlier this year, Drogheda Port Company published an Issues Paper and invited members of the public, business, state agencies, regulatory bodies and government to make submissions. This week the preliminary findings of the submissions were announced by Paul Fleming, CEO of Drogheda Port Company.
"We are delighted with the level of interest and submissions to the Issues Paper. The Masterplan we are developing will run from 2020-2050 and so it was really important for us to take on board suggestions and observations from the community and stakeholders. We received a really strong response and we thank those individuals and organisations who took the time to participate in this consultation process.
"Some of the key issues raised in the submissions include road access to the port, deep-water berths, environmental protection, requirement for additional land, warehousing and storage and recognising the Port as a valuable economic asset. The role of the Port in the urban regeneration of Drogheda came to the fore in submissions that discussed relocating Port operations from the Town Quays to further downstream. These, and many other issues, will all be addressed in our master-planning process and it is interesting to note that our priorities and those of the public and stakeholders are largely aligned."
Drogheda Port is one of the key drivers of economic activity and development in the north-east. The Port, and the work that it facilitates, supports imports, exports, and job creation. As a critical part of the infrastructure of this region, it is vital that the Port plans ahead and continues to provide facilities and services to meet the needs of the eastern region into the future.
Submissions also recognised the importance of Drogheda Port as a facilitator of employment and competitiveness for the region. Others highlighted the role of the Port in tourism and marine leisure activity, and some challenged the Port to examine issues of off-shore renewable energy.
Port Chairman Joe Hiney stated: "I would like to acknowledge the constructive feedback received in the master planning process, including on the topic of external port development. This is timely as the national port industry is actively examining port infrastructure demand and supply issues in terms of changing market conditions in the various cargo sectors, including Brexit impacts, and capacity constraints at existing east coast ports. In the case of Drogheda we have identified demand for deep water and niche cargo services on the east coast in addition to the planned expansion of operations in the Boyne estuary."
He continued "We therefore put our external project subsidiary ("Bremore") on the market and following considerable commercial interest have signed a development Memorandum of Understanding with a substantial private partner. This development project is focussed on serving the growing Irish port service market, on maintaining a competitive landscape on the east coast, and ensuring that Drogheda Port Company continues to grow in a sustainable manner."
Paul Fleming concluded "This has been a very worthwhile, informative and educational phase of our master planning process. Our role in Drogheda Port Company is to ensure that strategic, economic, community and environmental factors are all considered and carefully factored into the long-term plan for the Port. Now that this stage of the process has been completed, we will revert to an intensive internal planning phase and intend to publish the draft Master Plan early in 2019 with the final Master Plan being completed by mid-year."