CRH to sell 88 acres at Foynes Port

€6m sought for site which accounts for 75 per cent of available industrial land around port

The land at Foynes Port about to be offered for sale on the international market by the CRH Group

The land at Foynes Port about to be offered for sale on the international market by the CRH Group

 

Most of the industrial-zoned land around Foynes Port in Co Limerick is about to be offered for sale on the international market by the CRH Group just as the port authority gears up for a major expansion.

Commercial agents Bannon are quoting €6 million for the 88-acre site which accounts for 75 per cent of all the available industrial land around the port, the second busiest in Ireland after Dublin. The land is held by the CRH subsidiary, Irish Cement.

Although the State-appointed port authority would seem like the most obvious purchaser, Cian McMorrow of Bannon says they have had a number of unsolicited approaches from a range of business interests in recent years. Some of these inquiries are understood to have come from companies shipping goods through the port.

McMorrow says they are “quietly confident” of interest in the strategically-located site from both national and international companies, now that a decision had been made to dispose of it.

CRH could not have chosen a better time to offload the property following the launch by the Shannon Foynes Port Company of a 30-year plan to develop facilities in the Shannon Estuary.

The estuary is the deepest waterway in Ireland, giving it a distinct advantage over other ports as it can handle huge container ships being built to coincide with the widening of the Panama Canal in 2015.

In the meantime, a new deep-water berth is to be built and the development plan envisages that more than 300 acres of extra land (some of it belonging to the soon-to-be-dissolved Shannon Development) will be needed to accommodate new warehousing, manufacturing plants and transhipment operations.

The port already handles more than €6 billion worth of international trade a year, representing one-third of the country’s bulk container traffic.

The port is a beneficiary of its close proximity to the Aughinish Alumina plant, the largest aluminium production complex in Europe.

Bannon is also to sell a second site for Irish Cement at the junction of the Dock Road and the N18/Limerick Southern Ring Road in Limerick city.

The 1.85 acres are likely to be used for a petrol filling station and a drive-through restaurant to capitalise on the high profile location. Bannon is seeking €550,000 for the land.

The sale of the two parcels of land comes weeks after CRH’s new chief executive, Albert Manifold, announced that the company would be selling off a tenth of its poorest performing businesses.

The review of the portfolio might well include some of the hundreds of acres of land it owns, most notably around its cement plants at Platin, Drogheda, and Mungret in Limerick.

In both cases, the company operates extensive farms with the aid of specialist managers.

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