Ship to shore: Dublin Port wants your opinion!

Dublin Port, courtesy of DPC press release

Geneva Pattison

A recent press release from the Dublin Port Company has revealed that Dublin Port will likely reach its throughput capacity sometime around 2030-2040. DPC say that this will mean more capacity will be necessary on the East coast of Ireland to keep up with growth, something that Dublin Port cannot sustain in the long run.

Large infrastructure builds are already being planned to try and meet future demand. DPC says they could take up 20 years “from concept to completion” to finish.

As part of the Dublin Port Masterplan 2040, DPC have started to initiate the 3FM(3rd and final masterplan) project, which has yet to receive planning permission from An Bord Pleanála. As stated in the press release, should the 3FM project not progress, then Dublin Port would reach its capacity by 2030.

In June 2020, An Bord Pleanála gave the green light for the MP2 plans (2nd stage of Masterplan 2040) the go ahead, with completion costs estimated at €320 million euro.

As stated by the DPC, Masterplan 2040 must be completed within the planned time frame, in order to keep up with the 77 million gross tonnes estimated to be shipped into and out of the port in the near future.

The DPC have opened up a dialogue with regards to project costs, environmental impact and various other challenges faced by the company when considering building on another greenfield site on the east coast. The costs for such a development would be in the area of 3.9 to 4.2 billion euro, assuming everything went to plan and all goals were achieved fluidly.

Alternative viewpoints, such as the view that Dublin Port should be moved entirely to another zone, have been acknowledged by the DPC. The idea that the port should be completely relocated has been raised several times, as stated by DPC. Proposals like this were rejected on the basis of the projected costs of over 8 billion euro to complete the move.

Individuals and organisations are being invited by the DPC to put forward innovative ideas or challenge existing ones proposed by the company. People or groups may respond in writing by by the end of June 2021, to DPC have said that they can also send copies of the dialogue papers upon request.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, released a statement in relation to the overall plan and potential input from the public, saying:

“We need to plan for how, when and where additional port capacity might be provided on the east coast of Ireland by 2040.”

“We know from experience that twenty years is a relatively short period in the context of delivering large scale infrastructure projects, let alone a once in 200 years megaproject, which the construction of a new additional greenfield port would be.”

“Consideration of any plan of this scale must take account of as wide a spectrum of viewpoints as possible. That is what the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue is designed to facilitate, and I would encourage people and organisations to get involved. This is everyone’s opportunity to help answer important questions in the national interest about the environmental, planning and financial challenges that lie ahead in providing the future port capacity needed for the long-term.”

“Our canvassing of views on the long-term provision of port capacity once Dublin Port reaches its limit some time between 2030 and 2040 coincides with DCC’s preparation of the Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028, with NTA’s review of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area to cover the period 2022-2042 and with Government’s review of the National Development Plan as part of Project Ireland 2040. Ensuring there is enough port capacity for the decades and even centuries ahead requires coherence and co-ordination among all these plans and strategies.”

Read the full Dublin Port Masterplan 2040 below.