Dublin Port to up spending to €1bn as growth exceeds expectations

Capacity of the port is to be increased to cater for 77 million gross tons by 2040

Dublin Port trade figures for the first half of 2018 show growth of 5.2 per cent, with increases in both imports and exports. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dublin Port trade figures for the first half of 2018 show growth of 5.2 per cent, with increases in both imports and exports. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Dublin Port is responding to higher than expected growth by increasing investment in facilities from €600 million to €1 billion over the next 10 years.

The move comes as the port announced cargo volumes in the first half surpassed projections and as it increased its average annual growth rate projections from 2.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent for the period 2010-2040.

Publishing details of its revised masterplan, Dublin Port said that by the end of this year it would have recorded growth of about 37 per cent over the past six years.

Under the masterplan, the capacity of the port is to be increased to cater for a growth to an ultimate capacity of 77 million gross tons by 2040 rather than the 60 million gross tons as originally proposed in 2012.

The port said capacity will be accomplished with no further infill into Dublin bay.

Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly said that while the organisation was making plans to cope with Brexit, it wouldn’t allow uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the European Union to distract it as it focuses on developing long-term plans for the port.

Revised masterplan

The launch of the revised masterplan comes as Dublin Port trade figures for the first half of 2018 show growth of 5.2 per cent, with increases in both imports and exports.

Roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) freight increased 4.6 per cent to 508,000 units in the first half and it is on track to pass one million units for the first time by the end of 2018. The port’s container volumes increased 5.8 per cent to 356,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit.

Imports of new trade vehicles rose 11.7 per cent in the first half, with nearly 63,000 units passing through the port.

Tourism volumes are also ahead, up 2.7 per cent on the prior year, with ferry passenger numbers reaching almost 800,000. The number of cruise ships calling to the port rose by 14 to 64 in the first half compared with the same period a year earlier.

Finally, imports of petroleum products and animal feed drove growth of 11.5 per cent in bulk commodities to 3.4 million tons.