An expected 3.3pc annual growth rate at Dublin Port established just six months ago by the facility to determine its infrastructure requirements for the next two decades is already being exceeded.
The chief executive of Dublin Port Company, Eamonn O’Reilly, said the current pace of growth means the semi-state firm now needs to speed up investment.
New figures show that cargo volumes at Dublin Port have continued to rise as the economy improves, with total volumes up 4.7pc to 28.4m gross tonnes during the first nine months of the year. Imports rose 6pc and exports were 3pc higher.
Mr O’Reilly said that the facility has witnessed an “extraordinary” rate of growth, with volumes of cargo through the trade gateway having risen 36pc in the past six years.
“This rate is outstripping our long-term master plan growth rate of 3.3pc per annum and underpins the need for us to accelerate our capital investment programme to ensure that Dublin Port has sufficient capacity for future growth,” he said.
The CEO also confirmed that Dublin Port has begun construction of “primary border control infrastructure” to ensure that the facility is prepared “for whatever Brexit might throw at us”. Earlier this year, Dublin Port published a revised master plan where it based future expansion requirements based on a new 3.3pc expected rate of annual growth. It had previously forecast annual growth of 2.5pc, a figure that had been set in 2012.
Mr O’Reilly pointed out that this year, €132m is being invested in Dublin Port under its 2040 master plan.
“After decades of underinvestment in port infrastructure, we need to invest €1bn in the next 10 years,” he said.
Mr O’Reilly added that the company is continuing work on its Alexandra Basin redevelopment and will soon bring its second major strategic infrastructure project plans to An Bord Pleanala.
The latest figures for the port show that imports rose 6pc to 16.9m gross tonnes in the third quarter of 2018, while exports were 3pc higher at 11.5m tonnes.
“Having come through the worst of recessions from 2008, our volumes are already 23pc higher than they were in 2007,” said Mr O’Reilly. “In the timescale of port infrastructure projects, we need to press ahead with our infrastructure projects notwithstanding the uncertainties of Brexit.”
Article Source: http://tinyurl.com/kbwqb42