Dec 15, 2023
Rosslare Europort has announced two major milestones in the Co Wexford port’s progress towards becoming Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub.
Port Authority Iarnród Éireann today made a formal application to the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) for Marine Area Consent (MAC).
Additionally, it was announced that the contract for the design of an ORE hub at the port was awarded to Nicholas O’Dwyer (NOD) and partners Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Consultants (GDG), renowned for their expertise and specialisation in civil engineering and marine projects.
Rosslare Europort envisions becoming the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) hub to service Ireland and Europe’s wider emerging offshore wind industry. This progressive initiative from Rosslare Europort aligns with the government’s ambitious offshore wind target of seven gigawatts of power from ORE by 2030. With an estimated completion cost of circa €200 million, the proposed plans for the ORE hub have the potential to revolutionise the Southeast Region’s economy through new local industry, supply-chain development and job creation.
Today’s two milestones follow the recent granting of a foreshore licence from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, which has facilitated the commencement of an extensive programme of site investigation works at the port are getting underway.
The successful design team will lead the development of a comprehensive design and progress the various planning and statutory consenting applications. The design will encompass key engineering elements, including quay walls, piling, breakwaters, surfacing, services, a new small boat harbour and ancillary facilities, while the planning and consenting elements include obtaining a Marine Area Consent from MARA and preparation and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Appropriate Assessment and planning application to An Bord Pleanála.
Key project elements of the proposed development include:
- Minimum circa 20 hectares of land reclamation
- A 330m long heavy lift berth to accommodate ORE installation vessels
- A 240m long Roll-On Roll-Off berth to facilitate component delivery
- Dredging approach channel to an effective depth of -10m Chart Datum with a declared depth of -9mCD
- Main berth pocket for Staging and Installation vessels with dredged depth of -12mCD with a declared depth of -11mCD
- Small boat harbour with enhanced access from deeper water
- O&M facilities to include warehousing, offices and carparking
- Access facilities to accommodate potential future rail spur connection to site.
- New access road to small craft harbour and site access to the ORE facility
"The Irish Government has been accelerating policy on renewable offshore wind energy. Just last month, Minister Eamon Ryan announced the publication of an 'indicative roadmap' outlining a timetable towards Ireland's next offshore wind energy auction – ORESS 2.1, which will take place off Ireland's south coast and procure up to 900MW of offshore wind. The development of the Rosslare Europort ORE hub is critical to support ORESS 1 and ORESS 2.1 and all future auctions. The delivery of this vital port infrastructure required a specialist team of leading engineers with a strong track record in specialist marine projects. We are delighted to have the combined engineering expertise of Gavin and Doherty and Nicholas O'Dwyer onboard."
Glenn Carr, Director, Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority of Rosslare Europort.
"We are honoured to have been selected for a project of such importance in advancing Ireland's ambitious pursuit of its 2030 renewable energy goals. The visionary approach demonstrated by the Rosslare Europort team is truly commendable, reflecting a strategic foresight that will undoubtedly play a critical role in supporting the growth of Ireland's offshore wind farms and positioning Rosslare Europort to efficiently serve European projects as well."
Jim Oliver, Managing Director of Nicholas O'Dwyer, an RSK company.
Rosslare Europort’s strategic location, whilst within proximity of planned developments in Irish and UK waters, also positions it as a critical player in servicing offshore projects throughout Europe. The port aims to facilitate the various stages of offshore wind projects, from assembly and staging to ongoing operation and maintenance and future decommissioning.
In the preliminary design phase, this transformative project is set to progress to public consultation in 2024. Following participatory engagement with the public and wider stakeholders, the project design will be finalised, with a planning application intended for submission to An Bord Pleanála in 2024. Construction is scheduled for 2025/26, with project completion anticipated in 2027.
"GDG has an impressive track record in successfully delivering offshore wind projects worldwide. This particular project exemplifies the extensive capabilities and expertise that GDG brings to our clients. It underscores the global presence of both GDG and our parent company the Venterra Group. Our Ports and Harbour and Marine Advisory teams, both based in Ireland, specialise in marine engineering and environmental consenting, and can draw on the collective knowledge of our engineering expertise across our global group companies when required. Strengthening our longstanding collaboration with Iarnród Éireann, as demonstrated by projects like the Rosslare Europort ORE hub, our team is eager to continue partnering with clients to implement critical infrastructure to support Ireland and global ambitions within the offshore renewable wind energy sector.”
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Paul Doherty, Director and founder of Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions, a Venterra Group Company