Management say Rosslare Europort will be ready in time to capitalise on construction of offshore wind farms

Rosslare Europort aims to establish itself as Ireland's National Offshore Renewable Energy Hub.© Getty Images/Image Source

Pádraig ByrneWexford People

The management of Rosslare Europort has vowed that the port will ready and will have facilities in place for the construction of huge wind turbines in time to facilitate the winners of Ireland’s first auction for the generation of offshore wind energy.

Iarnród Éireann – the port authority for Rosslare Europort – say that they’ve reached a “significant milestone” in the development of the port as Ireland’s National Offshore Renewable Hub, as it received its draft foreshore license.

This will now facilitate the completion of the final site investigations and “pave the way for a planning application to be submitted in time and for the facility to be operational to meet the needs of the successful bidders in the ORESS-1 auctions”.

Speaking after this latest announcement, Glenn Carr, Director of Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann at Rosslare Europort said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of those involved in Ireland’s first offshore wind auction.

"The four successful wind farms can progress their projects in the knowledge that by the time construction commences, Rosslare Europort will have progressed our current plans to establish a dedicated offshore renewables hub.”

"We have already advanced our development plans for major infrastructure upgrades at Rosslare Europort to ensure that we are in a position to support these Phase One projects with the construction of their offshore assets.”

With a proposed investment of €220 million, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub at Rosslare will be the first of its kind in a port in the Republic of Ireland. It would aim to provide the ORE industry with the necessary port infrastructure to support the many Wind Farm projects planned for the Irish and Celtic Seas.

Major concerns had been expressed in recent times that Wexford, and indeed Ireland, could miss out on upwards of 2,000 jobs as a report undertaken by Wind Energy Ireland stated that Belfast was the only port on the island of Ireland currently capable of constructing offshore wind farms. With this latest development, Rosslare is aiming to position itself to become the first port in the Republic ready for such an operation, but the clock is ticking.

“The auction (ORESS1) results released on May 11 by Eirgrid mark a very significant milestone for Ireland’s offshore wind future,” a statement from Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority for Rosslare Europort said. “These projects, in excess of 3GW of capacity, represent a major step toward delivering our capacity target of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.

“This hugely positive announcement will not only benefit Irish energy consumers but is good news for Ireland as we move towards our renewable climate targets. The announcement is further evidence of what many of us have known for a long time; that Ireland can be a leading player in the growing offshore wind sector.”

The statement did concede that Ireland must “invest heavily in its port infrastructure and supporting facilities to be in a position to deliver these major renewable infrastructure projects”.

Ports are a central part of offshore wind development. They play a vital role in local supply chains, logistics, and supporting infrastructure as major components, equipment, and wind turbines all need to be facilitated with port side staging, marshalling and assembly activities.

Rosslare Europort has been working closely with Irish offshore wind consultants Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions and have identified a list of requirements for the project including deep water berths, heavy lift quays and lay down areas to facilitate turbines and major components.