WHY IS THE NEW PORT NEEDED?
The reasoning behind the proposed redevelopment of the Port of Galway is to allow for the maintenance of current core Port activity and to further enhance and grow this business.
The redevelopment holds the key to the future survival of the Port as an economic entity. It would allow the Port to compete on a level playing field with both national and international ports.
It would allow for the future proofing of the strategic and sustainable survival of the Port for generations to come.
The new Port of Galway redevelopment will solve a number of problems due to restrictions of the current Port size and infrastructure.
RESTRICTIONS ON THE CORE BUSINESS OF THE PORT
The current Port cannot facilitate vessels with capacity above 6,000 tonnes.
The core business of the Port is in the importation of oil, bitumen, steel and general cargo. For economic and environmental reasons, this core business is changing at a global level. Companies engaging in the importation of these items are opting to import higher capacity levels to gain more competitive prices.
Furthermore, vessel sizes are increasing to reduce their carbon footprint, thus making the import and export of liquid bulk more environmentally friendly.
Instead of accommodating 6,000 tonne vessels, the Port of Galway needs to be in a position to accommodate 12,000 – 20,000 tonne vessels.
To achieve this, the current water channel needs to be widened and deepened and the restrictions imposed by the Port gates, quays and berths need to be removed.
RESTRICTIONS ON ATTRACTING CRUISE LINERS
There is little doubt that Galway is an ideal destination for the Cruise sector with its many attractions and magnificent scenic and historical locations.
The development of the new Port will allow Galway Harbour Company to bring a significant number of cruise vessels to Galway. The Port of Galway is unique in that it is situated in the heart of Galway City. This is a major advantage in terms of attracting cruise business.
Neither the current channel nor the existing port gates, quays and berth allow for cruise liners to dock at the quayside.
RESTRICTIONS ON ENHANCING PORT MARINA BUSINESS
If the proposed redevelopment were to go ahead, an additional marina incorporating 216 amenity berths including 12 berths capable of facilitating Volve scale of yachts would be developed.
This would allow the Port to cater appropriately for marine sports and to attract significant yachting and sailing events to Galway. If we have learned anything from our successful hosting of The Volvo Ocean Race, it is the sugnificant revenue it, and events like it, can generate for the local economy.
This Directive was ratified to control major-accident hazards involving dangerous Class 1 substances. In Galway City, the SEVESO II Directive concerns the issue of Public Health and Safety due to the proximity of bulk gasoline storage tanks to the City.
The proximity of storage tanks for Class 1 substances has serious implications for the development potential of the Port and the City. The recent relocation of some of the oil storage to the Harbour Enterprise Park is only step one in fulfilling SEVESO requirements regarding any future development plans.
The movement of Class 1 substances away from densely populated areas to specially designed jettys is a common feature of most European Ports and this will only happen as part of the proposed redevelopment of the Port. SEVESO and the proposed redevelopment are inextricably linked.
The final movement of the oil tankers cannot take place unless the proposed redevelopment goes ahead.