Friday, January 10 14:18:46
The Galway Harbour Company will today lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanala to significantly expand its existing footprint with an E126m investment.
Current Port capacity is seriously inadequate if it is to compete for, and win, new national and international business, the operators said.
"Indeed, current facilities are no longer sufficient to meet the changing needs of its existing customers. The expansion of the Port will ensure the creation of a revitalised hub in the heart of Galway city, providing additional employment and enhancing the economic contribution being made by the Port to Galway city and its environs," it said.
The Port of Galway is facing today's market challenges head on by developing an exciting expansion programme which will radically transform the way it operates. The 27 hectare extension project will be carried out over four stages, with construction on the first stage due to begin next year at a cost of E52 million. The remaining three stages of the expansion are due to be completed by the end of 2017.
In addition to the 252 people currently employed by the Port of Galway, 200 jobs will be created during the construction period, while the increased employment numbers post-development are expected to be in the order of 700/800 directly in the Port/Port Enterprise Park and offsite as a result of increased port traffic.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport's National Ports Policy 2013, seeks to provide a clear strategic direction for the Irish Ports sector by developing a number of 'Ports of Regional Significance'. These are Ports that serve an important regional purpose and/or specialised trades or maritime tourism. The proposed expansion at Galway Port will allow it to develop its potential as a significant infrastructural asset for Galway, the Western region and beyond.
According to Eamon Bradshaw, CEO, Galway Harbour Company, "the expansion of the Port is critically important for the economic future of the entire Western Region. This proposal envisages the creation of a marine facility capable of ensuring that Galway has a harbour infrastructure fit for the twenty first century."
Endorsing the proposal, President of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Jim Fennell said "the extension of Galway Port and the upgrading of Port facilities is a top priority for Galway Chamber and is key to the development of our city and the wider region."
Anthony Ryan, Galway City Business Association, also welcomed today's announcement, "we see the extension of the harbour as a key infrastructural development for Galway. The potential for business growth for the city is enormous and will represent a critical piece of infrastructure for the city going forward."