Dublin Port Company has issued its trade figures for the first three quarters of 2017 which show an overall growth during the period over the 2016 figures of 4.2%. This growth rate is similar to that for World ports through 2016 and for this year to date and is well ahead of the growth anticipated in the company’s 2012 Master Plan document.
Speaking at the announcement of the trade figures Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly said, “Dublin Port’s volumes continue to grow strongly. It is clear that the trend of year on year increases that we saw in the decades before the crash of 2008 has returned. We have now seen five years of consistent growth and each of the last three years has been a record year.
“Notwithstanding the uncertainty generated by BREXIT, Dublin Port has seen Ro-Ro freight volumes on routes to Britain grow by 6.2% over the first three quarters of 2017 with ferry passenger numbers growing by 2.4%.
“We are increasing the capacity of the port on the basis that growth will continue for many years to come. Work is continuing on our first major Masterplan project, the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project.
“We are seeing increasing demand for direct freight services to Continental Europe. The introduction by CLdN of the 8,000 lane metre Celine will greatly increase the capacity on direct services to Continental Europe. BREXIT is creating a lot of uncertainty and the introduction of the new ship shows the shipping sector beginning to provide additional capacity to create more options for importers and exporters. We expect to see more new services to Continental Europe during 2018.
“Before year end, we will commence construction of a bridge over the Covanta and ESB cooling water outfall on the Poolbeg Peninsula now that the construction of the waste to energy plant is complete. This bridge will bring unused port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula into use and allow us to increase the capacity of our berths on South Bank Quay. This is the first step towards the ultimate development of all Dublin Port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula under our Masterplan 2012-2040.
“We welcome the recognition in the recently approved Planning Scheme for the Poolbeg West SDZ that port lands are for port uses. This follows on from the recognition in the draft National Planning Framework of the importance for the country of the continued addition of port capacity in Dublin.”
Eamonn O’Reilly is currently chairman of the European Sea Ports Organisation. Speaking following his election he said, ““I am very honoured to have been elected as Chairman of ESPO for the next two years. Over these years, ports will be challenged by the implementation of the Port Regulation and other legislative initiatives. There will also be a continuing need for ports to plan and finance major infrastructure investment at the key nodes of Europe’s transport networks. Overarching these challenges, however, is the global problem of climate change and how our industry plays its part in addressing this enormous issue”.