Ireland’s largest bulk port company, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), has announced the first major ports infrastructure project since the turn of the millennium, with a €50 million capital investment programme at Foynes.

Launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe, the programme is the implementation of the first key element of the port company’s masterplan, Vision 2041, which is aimed at transforming the Shannon Estuary into a major national and international economic hub.

This week’s announcement will see SFPC commence a seven year programme in quayside infrastructure development with a €12.5 million investment in infilling of 3.45 acres on the port’s East Jetty, with work beginning this month.

Preliminary works for Phase II connecting the East and West jetties have already begun, with the third phase, the reclamation of a further 2 hectares, to start on the completion of Phase II. All three phases will add over 35,000sqm and additional berthage when completed.

Funding for the €50m capital investment programme is already in place, the majority from SFPC’s own reserves with some external finance. Together with the planned private sector investment at the Foynes Port complex, €26m alone this year, the overall investment already confirmed for Foynes over the period of this investment programme is a minimum of €75m. The private investment includes the 142-job CPL investment in a biomass plant at Foynes and the 40,000sq ft. storage facility being developed by Argosea.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe said: “These announcements are the first phase of a significant investment programme which seeks to double SFPC trade in the next three decades, in line with its ambitious masterplan, Vision 2041. The port is seeking to maximise the enormous potential of the Shannon Estuary and anticipates that the number of people employed in port activities will increase by 25% over the period of Vision 2041, with the economic benefits extending towards a much larger economic system.


“The long-term job creation figures of up to 2,000 jobs are based on anticipated expansion in existing heavy industries as well as planned projects such as the Shannon LNG terminal. I am delighted to see investment of this scale, knowing the impact it will have on the mid-west region generally.”

Announcing the investment, SFPC Chief Executive Officer Pat Keating said it would create real potential for further growth at the company and keep its aggressive plans on target. “The investment we are announcing is necessitated by significant growth at Foynes, our largest port, with tonnages almost back to the peak of 2006. We are reaching capacity at the East Jetty and this investment will facilitate significant additional growth at the port. The very fact that this is the first major infrastructure in any seaport in Ireland since the 1990s speaks volumes about the growth trends and confidence in the business.”