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Wed May 18 2022

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Bechtel picked for Irish port masterplan

9 May Bechtel is to produce a port masterplan to support Ireland’s emerging offshore wind industry.

Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) has selected Bechtel to update its Vision 2041 masterplan to accommodate offshore and onshore investment around the harbour.

Bechtel will help SFPC plan expansion of the port, supporting the burgeoning offshore wind industry and the production of alternative shipping fuels that could transform Shannon Foynes into a leading European port.

Shannon Foynes Port is situated in Ireland’s deepest sheltered commercial harbour. The port is the biggest industrial employer in the region and currently has capacity to handle more than 10 million tonnes a year. The expansion, including a new 1km-long dock, will increase capacity to 20 million tonnes annually.

The port is also well positioned near the Atlantic wind area that will be essential to Ireland reaching its ambition to generate 20GW of offshore wind by 2050. The expanded facilities at Shannon Foynes would include hydrogen and ammonia production facilities for long-term energy storage and will also consider the export of the renewable energy/fuels produced.

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Bechtel’s role will be to assess and refresh the port’s masterplan, known as Vision 2041, to best leverage these advantages and boost growth and support the region’s emerging offshore wind industry.

“Nine years ago, Vision 2041 was considered a very ambitious masterplan, yet we have since met all the higher-end growth targets identified for the interim period,” said Patrick Keating, chief executive of SFPC. “In it we also identified the opportunity ahead for what were then only emerging sectors, such as offshore renewables. The estuary is now viewed not alone by SFPC but the sector internationally as an emerging renewable energy supply-chain hub. In addition, there is the complementary growth potential for the estuary as a major logistics centre.”

“There is an increasingly strong case for investing in port infrastructure to support the growth in offshore wind, and the importance of creating local supply chains cannot be underestimated,” said John Williams, Bechtel’s managing director for the UK and Ireland. “Ports act as focal points during the manufacturing, installation, and operation of offshore wind farms, and Shannon Foynes is strategically ideal to support Ireland’s offshore wind industry, as well as expand to play an even greater role in European shipping. We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Shannon Foynes Port Company on their materplan update.”

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