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Potential for up to 2,000 jobs under Rosslare offshore energy hub plan

Ambitious plans to establish Rosslare Europort as the country's main offshore renewable energy hub have been announced in County Wexford.

A €350 million masterplan covering various facets of development at Rosslare over the coming years includes a €200 million plan to build the necessary infrastructure to allow wind energy companies use the port to harvest electricity generated offshore.

The blueprint for the Europort’s future also includes enhanced passenger and freight facilities, new import and export services, a permanent border control post, digitalisation of all operations and systems, and a new N25 access route to take heavy traffic out of Rosslare village.

Plans are now being put place to bring the Offshore Renewable Energy hub to the planning permission stage while financial consultants have been appointed to develop a detailed business case and put together funding options.

Management at Rosslare has also been engaging over the last 18 months with wind energy developers to allow them to put in place all of the requirements for the industry such as deeper channels undersea, more berths and a wider area of land.



General manager of Rosslare Europort Glenn Carr said the initiative will support "Ireland's climate action plan to 2030" when the renewable energy element goes ahead.

Mr Carr said: "Rosslare Europort is the closest port to where a lot of the wind farm developments will be happening in the Irish and Celtic Sea.

"We’re an ideal port to be developed, we’re going to deepen the port to about 11 metres, reclaim up to 50 acres of land and dedicated berths of up to 350 metres in length, providing what the industry - following consultation with all of the developers that are entering the market - with what they need over the next number of decades."

Chief Executive Officer of Íarnród Éireann, who own the port, Jim Meade said the masterplan "signifies the importance we place on Rosslare as a key facility and a key piece of infrastructure, for the railway and for Ireland as a whole".

It marks the next phase of development for the facility, he said.

"We see a real opportunity with the offshore wind, where Rosslare can service that industry in the years ahead."

He said there will be up to 2,000 jobs created during the forthcoming developments.

Mr Meade said: "It’s very important for the region here that this hub can become a catalyst for development in the region."

He pointed out that it will complement the new South East Technological University which is about to come into being across the region and the head of the Wexford campus Dr Karen Hennessy said it’s an important development for the area.

"Hugely ambitious plans for the future of the region," she said, "which will have a huge impact over the next five, 10, 20 years, and very strongly aligned with developments coming down the tracks for the south-east".

Dr Hennessy said: "On the 1st of May we have designation of the South East Technological University, with campuses in Wexford, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wicklow and will be producing up to 6,000 graduates a year and a lot of those graduates will be in the STEM area and they will feed in and hopefully support this fantastic development."

Wind Energy Ireland’s head of policy Niall Goodwin said it’s important that ports in Ireland can support the development of offshore energy generation.

"Not only does it create the jobs for the south-east region and create that massive regional economic opportunity there, Rosslare is a port that’s close to where a lot of these developments are going to happen in the Celtic Sea and in the Irish Sea. We have huge potential here in Ireland to develop offshore renewables and this is a key step towards that and making sure our ports are ready to seize that.

Mr Goodwin added: "By 2030, we will hopefully have five giga-watts of offshore wind [energy] on the system. There are some steps we need to take before we get to that and a lot of it is in relation to making sure we give certainty to the international supply chain and making sure our plans are very clear in terms of where we’re going."


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