Senator Pat Casey has asked Wicklow County Council and all relevant stakeholders to form a task force to liaise with Dublin Port Company to ensure Arklow is kept to the forefront as the ideal location for additional port capacity on the East Coast.
On foot of the publishing of Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue Papers last week which identifies Arklow as a one of the two preferred locations for additional port capacity for Dublin post 2040 is welcomed. This opportunity must be seized and this is the county’s and Arklow’s opportunity to deliver on the potential it always had and create the next chapter in its maritime history.
Analysis of these issues in the seven papers of the Dublin Port Post 2040 Dialogue lead to the following conclusions that are relevant to Arklow:
Conclusion No 4
Over the next 20 years, additional capacity at other existing east coast ports will be required so that, as Dublin Port approaches its ultimate capacity, volumes which Dublin cannot handle can be accommodated elsewhere.
Conclusion No 5.
During these 20 years, Dublin Port Company will need to work on the project, called DP1.5, so that it can be brought through the planning process and construction started by about 2033 should that become necessary.
Conclusion No 6
The projects to provide additional capacity in other ports and the project to construct DP1.5 can only be realised with State support – none of the projects and none of the port companies (including Dublin Port Company) are capable of raising the project finance that would be required.
The proposal to build DP1.5 in Arklow would consist of:
574 Hectares of Land and Sea
7,950 metres length of breakwater
4,225 metres Length of Berths (including Ro-Ro berths on jetties)
191 hectares of land area for port operations
11.5 kilometres of road system (including connection to national road network)
5.8 kilometres of rail system (including connection to national rail network)
The gross tonnes capacity of 2,742,000 would be split 78 / 22 between unaccompanied Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo.
Estimated total cost of almost €4 billion (based on 2020 construction figures)
A megaproject of this unprecedent scale for Ireland will require significant public consultation and time. The dialogue papers clearly identify that between, gaining policy support, planning permission and consent will take in excess of 12 years if not longer.
Public consultation and the impact on the environment of a project of this scale will require the inclusion of the public and residents of Arklow at all stages.
This cannot happen without positive intervention and assistance and a taskforce led by Wicklow County Council. The taskforce must now be established, including all the required stakeholders to support the delivery of this critical piece of infrastructure and provide the needed local link to the community as this project progresses through the required stages.
I have successfully worked to secure the delivery of now two data centres in Arklow and the expansion of other industries which will lead to over €2 billion in private investment and the creation of 100s of jobs on completion.
I know that we can achieve this ambitious Port project with the right professional collaborative approach from Arklow, Wicklow County Council and all the key stakeholders.
Let’s not waste this opportunity.