Consultation opens on €400m Dublin Port expansion

The plan includes Ireland’s biggest container terminal and a new access road with pedestrian and cycle paths (Courtesy of Dublin Port Company)
Dublin Port Company today opened final public consultation on its port expansion plan, which aims to prepare for the port’s “ultimate and final” capacity by 2040.

Planned work on the Poolbeg Peninsula includes a new road with a lifting bridge, Ireland’s biggest container terminal, and a sea sports centre.

Called “3FM” for being the third and final piece of the port’s 2040 masterplan, the project was costed at €400m when first unveiled in 2021.

The consultation runs until 28 April, with the company aiming to lodge a planning application this summer.

Based on a start date in 2026, the target completion date for the overall project is 2039. 

Details are available here.

Seven-part plan

The project has seven main elements:

  1. A new 2.2km road called the Southern Port Access Road will link the north and south port areas. It will include a 190m bridge, with a 45m lifting section to the east of the Tom Clarke Bridge. This will take heavy goods traffic off local roads by providing a dedicated route for port traffic. It will have cycle and pedestrian paths.
  2. Ireland’s largest container terminal will go up in front of the Poolbeg Power Station. It will have 650m of deeper water berths at the east of the port and the capacity to handle 600,000 TEUs a year – more than twice the number of containers handled in all other ports in the country last year.
  3. A major new Roll On-Roll Off terminal north of the Sean Moore Roundabout will take trucks with containers for the increasing volumes of traffic coming directly from Europe post-Brexit.
  4. A new 325m ship turning circle in front of Pigeon House Harbour will allow 240m-long ferries to turn.
  5. A utility Area of 1 hectare will accommodate services provided by others including the district heating system to be provided from the Covanta waste to energy plant and other services for the proposed residential developments in Poolbeg.
  6. A new Maritime Village provides a modern sailing and rowing campus for sailing and rowing clubs, sea scouts, the Nautical Trust and local boat owners.
  7. A 2.8-hectare Port Park and adjacent landscaped area will have floodlit playing pitches and a dog run.

Export boom

“Growth in volumes has been driven by a vibrant economy which has resulted in an increase in household consumption but also a hugely successful export sector,” said Dublin Port chief executive Barry O’Connell.

“Exports now account for 40% of all movements through the port with at least some of the 60% of imports also comprising of raw materials later to be exported. With the value of exports up to 3.5 times that of imports it is clear to see how important the export sector is to the economy and indeed, how successful the State’s FDI strategy has been.”

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