Dublin Port Company has announced a €400m expansion plan, the 3FM project, to bring Dublin Port up to full capacity by 2040. The project is the third and final part of a masterplan and will focus on land on the Poolbeg Peninsula on the south side of the bay, delivering 20% of the capacity required by 2040.
The plan includes seven main elements, the first being a new 2.2km road called the Southern Port Access Road (SPAR), linking the north and south port areas, which will include a 190m bridge with a 45m lifting section to the east of the Tom Clarke Bridge, taking heavy goods traffic off local roads.
The largest container terminal in Ireland will also be built in front of the ESB’s Poolbeg Power Station, featuring 650 metres of new deeper water berths at the east of the port, including a 9.1 hectare area for exports and a 5.9 hectare yard on the southern side of the Poolbeg peninsula for imports.
The plan includes a major new roll-on-roll-off terminal, north of the Sean Moore Roundabout, with a 12.6-hectare site taking trucks with containers for increasing volumes of traffic coming directly from Europe after Brexit.
A new 325m ship turning circle in front of Pigeon House Harbour will allow safe and efficient turning of 240m long ferries – the largest class of vessels. A utility area of 1 hectare will accommodate services provided by others, including a district heating system from the Covanta waste-to-energy plant.
Dublin Port will also feature a modern sailing and rowing campus with enhanced facilities for a range of users, including sailing and rowing clubs, sea scouts, the Nautical Trust, and local boat owners. Community facilities will include a 2.8-hectare port park and adjacent landscaped area, with 5G floodlit playing pitches and a dog run, along with 5.5km of active cycle and pedestrian paths.
Dublin Port Chief Executive, Barry O’Connell, said: “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. Dublin Port will need to maximise capacity within its existing footprint for an annual throughput of 3.1 million trailers and containers by 2040. The 3FM project will deliver 20% of this capacity through the largest Lo-Lo terminal in Ireland – 353,000 containers per annum and a new Ro-Ro freight terminal – 252,000 freight trailers per annum.”
O’Connell also noted that the Dublin Port Company takes a generational approach to development, as large infrastructure projects take up to 20 years from inception to completion. He added: “We know what we have to deliver on to enable Ireland’s growth up to 2040 and beyond, and our expert team has been actively engaged in delivering the Masterplan for more than 10 years now.”
Dublin Port Company has already undertaken detailed designs and environmental analysis ahead of lodging a planning application in summer 2023.