Dublin Port secures €100m EIB loan for redevelopment project

Scheme to deepen navigation channel is the largest ever undertaken by the port

Dublin Port has secured a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project.

The scheme, the largest ever undertaken by the port, will deepen the navigation channel to allow for bigger container and cruise ships.

It is expected to take five years to complete, costing an estimated €230 million.

The EIB has committed to providing €100 million over 20 years to finance the project.


The bank's vice president Jonathan Taylor was in Dublin today to finalise the arrangements with Dublin Port Company representatives.

“Against a background of strongly growing trade, the availability of long term and well-priced finance is essential to allow us to invest in the port capacity needed in the future,” Dublin Port Company boss Eamonn O’Reilly said.

“ We do not have spare capacity in the port and it is essential that we stay ahead of the growth with essential investment in port infrastructure,” he said.

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said the loan represents confidence in Dublin Port to handle 60 million tonnes of cargo by 2040 and "fulfil its mandate of operating an efficient, well-resourced port that can facilitate Ireland's trading needs."

The financing announcement came as the latest figures for Dublin Port show trade volumes in the third quarter continued to rise in line with projections for a record year.

The port’s throughput - imports and exports - for the year to the end of September was 24 million tonnes, up nearly 6 per cent on the 23 million tonnes handled during the same period last year. Imports rose 6 per cent to 14.4 million tonnes, while exports increased by 5.5 per cent to nearly 10 million tonnes.

“It is clear now that 2015 will be a record year and that yet more growth will come in future years as Ireland’s economy recovers,” Mr O’Reilly said, noting the strong growth on the import side this year was driven by a surge in petroleum and vehicle imports.

Imports of new cars and commercial vehicles increased by 21 per cent to over 70,000 during the nine-month period, while petroleum imports rose 8 per cent to 2.9 million tonnes.

On the tourism side, over 1.4 million ferry passengers passed through Dublin Port during the period, up 6.3 per cent, reflecting strong growth in passenger numbers travelling to Britain and France for holidays during peak season.

The company’s figures also show an 11.3 per cent increase in the number of cruise ships calling at Dublin Port with 89 cruise liners bringing almost 100,000 (98,253) passengers to the capital.

The third quarter included the arrival of four luxury cruise ships carrying 13,000 passengers in a single day.

With Dublin Port’s cruise season extending until December and further cruise calls expected, the company is forecasting a record cruise season.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times