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Cork Port Company has formally opened its €89m deepwater container terminal at Ringaskiddy with an announcement that it is formulating a development plan for the harbour up to 2050.

The new terminal is described as "the largest single investment in marine infrastructure of any Irish port over the last 100 years." It has been operational since April, providing multimodal berths in the world, 13-metres in depth and 360 metres in length.

The Port Company says: "When fully operational, on completion of the M28 road network" it will have the capacity to handle 330,000 TEUs. . This road is the subject of protests and concerns from local residents but has Government approval.

At today's official launch Minister Hildegarde Naughton with special responsibility for transport and logistics, said that "Maritime transport accounts for more than 90% of Ireland's international trade, and the Port of Cork has played an integral role in keeping Ireland connected, as part of the global transport system."Cork and Dublin are the only ports in Ireland capable of servicing all six shipping modes – lift-on/lift-off, roll-on/roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.' 

Cork Port Company Chairperson, Michael Walsh, said the container port is only the first phase of an overall proposed development plan for the Port of Cork:

"This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter at Port of Cork as we seek to meet the next phase of needs of our community and customers. As we look forward towards a Vision for 2050, we see huge potential for our harbour to continue its role as a focal point for our community to live in and enjoy, as well as a key gateway for global.

"We would like everyone’s help in developing a new Masterplan to 2050, which will act as a blueprint for the future growth and development of the Port of Cork. I encourage our local community, customers and national stakeholders to share their ideas when we launch a consultation on our draft plan in the coming weeks.” 

The Ringaskiddy development went ahead only after intense local opposition. 

Details of a "blueprint for the growth to 2050" are to be delivered "in the months ahead, following public consultation," according to the Port Company.

Eoin McGettigan, Port CEO, PoCC, said: “It is really important to us that we work with our colleagues, neighbours and customers in the local area to make sure that the development of the Port of Cork is something that everyone is proud of."

Published in Port of Cork
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A memorandum of understanding has been signed today between Ireland’s first green hydrogen company, EIH2, the Port of Cork and the Port of Amsterdam.

This partnership will enable Ireland to maximise its use of offshore wind as a source of energy, by providing an alternative route to market for such renewable electricity. Earlier this year, the Irish Government identified an additional 2GW of offshore wind to be used for green hydrogen production, and this partnership provides the route to market that is needed for Ireland to become a net exporter of energy over time.

This partnership will help to enable the establishment of a supply chain for green hydrogen between Ireland and Europe via the port of Amsterdam.

This partnership agreement reflects the high level of collaboration between Ireland and The Netherlands and the European approach of working together to become the first Net Zero continent. The event forms part of a major offshore wind mission organised by the Netherlands Embassy in Ireland from 11th to 14th September and held in Cork. The purpose of the mission is to increase collaboration on the energy transition between Ireland and The Netherlands at a national level and business to business.

The event will bring together key stakeholders from the wind sector in Ireland and The Netherlands including supply chain, developers, academics, utilities, policy writers and policy influencers.

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding was attended by the Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, Mr. Rob Jetten, and the Irish Minister of State for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, Mr. Ossian Smyth, as official witnesses to the agreement. Also represented were Lord Mayor Cork City, Cllr Deirdre Forde and Deputy Lord Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Anthony Barry.

Pearse Flynn, EIH2’s founder said: “Our goal at EIH2 is to help both Ireland and Europe achieve their ambitious energy targets. The recent RePowerEU plan quadruples the role for Green Hydrogen in Europe. This was reflected in Ireland’s recent carbon budgets, with an additional 2GW of offshore wind planned specifically for green hydrogen production. This partnership is the beginning of a supply chain for green hydrogen from Ireland where there is a lot of wind but not a lot of hydrogen demand to Europe where the situation is reversed.”

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Cork Company said: “At the Port of Cork Company, we see significant opportunities for Cork Harbour to become a hub for renewable energy, which will benefit the environment, local businesses and create employment in the region. We hope to utilise our facilities at this strategic location, working together with like-minded partners to support the development of renewable energy opportunities.”

Ireland and the Netherlands have traditionally enjoyed strong and historic trade relations and both countries have placed strategic priority on the development of production capacity and international distribution of green hydrogen.

Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen, Director Business Development Cargo of Port of Amsterdam said: “Port of Amsterdam is very pleased with the signing of this MoU with such valuable partners. It underlines both the strong ties between Ireland and our port and the increasing importance of green hydrogen. For Port of Amsterdam, priorities are to make green hydrogen available to the large industrial clusters in the greater Amsterdam area, as well as to serve as a gateway to the European hinterland, including regions with high potential demand in Germany. The developments in the south of Ireland and the technical proficiency of Irish parties, mean the country will be well positioned for the future export of this new energy source. The port of Amsterdam will offer a route to market for Irish green hydrogen, both in our port itself, and in the rest of Europe.”

Published in Port of Cork
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Crowds lined the Riverside from Monkstown to Cobh in Cork Harbour this afternoon as the Big Lift Baffin left Cork Dockyard with three heavy lift cranes aboard bound for New York.

Two Cork Port tugs assisted the ship leaving the Dockyard. It went astern out to the centre of Monkstown Bay and was then turned bow on to leave the harbour down past Cobh, Whitegate and Roche"s Point for the ten-day voyage to the US.

Big Lift heading for sea and New YorkBig Lift heading for sea and New York

For more read Afloat's earlier report on the Big Lift Baffin here

Crowds watching Big Lift Baffin depart Cork DockyardCrowds watching Big Lift Baffin depart Cork Dockyard

Bob Bateman's Big Lift Photo Gallery Below

Published in Port of Cork

The largest single objects ever engineered in Ireland, to be shipped out of the country, have been loaded aboard The Big Lift Baffin at Cork Dockyard in Cork Harbour.

These are three ship-to-shore container cranes built by the Liebherr factory in Killarney, destined for the Maher Terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey, on the east coast of the United States. These are amongst the world's largest shipping terminals.

The three cranes were designed and manufactured in Liebherr's facility in Killarney, which specialises in cranes for shipping terminals and port operations. The various parts of the crane were manufactured in Killarney and shipped to Cork, either by road, or by sea from Fenit Harbour. They were then assembled in DSG's 44-acre Cork Dockyard terminal, the former Verolme Cork Dockyard. 

Cork's Doyle Shipping Group (DSG) is handling transport operations, including commissioning the Big Lift Baffin, On arrival in the US, the ship will anchor off Sandy Hook, where preparations for passing under Bayonne Bridge, which connects New York to New Jersey will be made.

The Big Lift Baffin will take ten days for the voyage to the US.

"These cranes are the largest single objects ever engineered in Ireland to be shipped out of the country. Months of planning have gone into the process with extensive coordination between DSG, Liebherr and the Port of Cork. It highlights the capability and suitability of Cork Harbour for such operations. There is no air draft, so there are no wires or bridges to impede transport. Once they leave the terminal here, there is direct access to the open Atlantic," said Eoin O'Sullivan, director with DSG.

Published in Port of Cork
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19th August 2022

Cork Port Marks 250 Years

The 250-year history of Cork Port underscores the importance of the maritime sphere of the maritime sphere's importance to the region, its Chief Executive told a National Heritage Week event in the Crawford Art Gallery in the city, which was the site of the original Custom House on Leeside.

The Port gifted its collection of maritime paintings and artefacts, worth an estimated €1m.to the Gallery last year after it sold its city centre offices and moved to Ringaskiddy deepwater centre in the lower harbour.

The collection, on exhibition until August 28, comprises 17 paintings dating back to the 1800s by several renowned artists, such as Cobh-born marine painter George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson. The collection includes a Ship's Register from Cork Harbour Commissioners dating back to 1912, referencing both the Titanic and Lusitania, an illuminated address to Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), and a silver Admiralty Oar from 1686.

A painting by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson of a Barque Glenlara off Cork Harbour c.1865 from the Crawford Art Gallery Cork Collection A painting by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson of a Barque Glenlara off Cork Harbour c.1865 from the Crawford Art Gallery Cork Collection

"As a company, we are very proud of our heritage, which spans over 250 years. These unique maritime artworks by renowned artists, offer a fascinating insight into the operations of Cork Harbour at that time and underscore the Port's long-standing international significance for commerce and trade, "said Port Chief Executive Eoin McGettigan. "Not only does the collection signify the history of our great Port and harbour, but it also showcases how far the Port has come regarding leisure, operations, scale and trade. We are delighted this collection has found such a welcoming home at The Crawford Art Gallery."

The original gallery building, dating from 1714, was Cork's Custom House.

"This special collection of unique maritime artworks has been one of our most popular exhibitions," said the Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, Mary McCarthy.

"It acts as a visual reminder of this building's connection with Cork's Maritime past as well as showcasing the strong heritage of this great port, city and county."

Published in Port of Cork
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Two local giants, Mahain and Binne, from old Irish folklore are the names of the cranes at Cork Port’s Ringaskiddy container terminal, chosen by Crosshaven Boys’ National School.

The two names were voted most popular, as part of a recent local schools competition ‘Name the Cranes’, by the Port of Cork Company. The names represent the two 50 metre cranes at the Cork Container Terminal (CCT), in Ringaskiddy.

Port of Cork Company launched the ‘Name the Cranes’ competition in March, for the two 50-metre cranes at the Cork Container Terminal.

The the two new 50 metre cranes under construction at the Cork Container Terminal (CCT) in RingaskiddyThe the two new 50 metre cranes under construction at the Cork Container Terminal (CCT) in Ringaskiddy Photo: Bob Bateman

Local primary school pupils in the harbour area were asked to name the cranes. 800 students in 12 local harbour community schools took part. The top three names were chosen by pupils were put to a public vote on Facebook to choose the winning names.

Mahain and Binne were significant winners, leading with over half of 1,000 votes cast.

The names chosen by Crosshaven Boys’ National School are based on a local story from 1892, told by Robert Day. A giant called ‘Mahain’ is said to have thrown two stones from Monkstown - one landing in Ringaskiddy and the other in Crosshaven. Another giant called ‘Binne’, lived across the water in Currabinny and cast a stone into Crosshaven village where it came to rest on the foreshore near Crosshaven House.

The winning class of Crosshaven Boys’ N.S. will receive a very special guided boat trip around Cork Harbour, €1,000 worth of sport or art supplies and will be invited to cut the ribbon at the Official Opening of CCT, later this year. Runner-up schools, Star of the Sea Passage West, who put forward the names ‘Ardú and Ísliu’ and Ringaskiddy National School who suggested ‘Rocky and Spike’, also received €1,000 worth of art supplies for their school.

The names Mahain and Binne will be printed on each crane in the coming weeks. 

Speaking on the new names, Business Development Support Manager, David Browne said, “It is important to us to involve the local community and the up and coming generation in this new era for the Cork harbour community and wider region. Connecting local folklore with the cranes creates a lovely story, and the two 50 metre giants, Mahain and Binne, couldn't be more fitting names.”

The cranes are a landmark feature of the new CCT, which has been developed following an €86 million investment and recently became operational.

Published in Port of Cork
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As the Irish Examiner reports, Cork City Council is set to spend millions buying the Port of Cork’s city-centre quays to help facilitate one of the largest docklands regeneration schemes in Europe. 

The local authority and the commercial semi-State company have reached an “agreement in principle” that will see the council acquiring around 1.5km of quayside along the city's north and south docks following the relocation of the port company’s city centre operations to its expanded facilities downstream at Ringaskiddy.

Neither side has commented on the purchase price but it is understood that the figure will run to several million euro — significantly below the estimated €26m that was offered by the city at the height of the property boom when the port was planning its relocation downstream.

The agreement, which it is understood was signed off last Friday, now paves the way for detailed negotiations between both sides on the heads of the agreement. 

Both parties have agreed to establish working groups to hammer out the detail.

Much more from the newspaper here. 

In addition below is a Statement from Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cork Company which was issued yesterday (Wednesday 25th May 2022)

Contrary to reports in the media today, the Port of Cork Company (PoCC) has not signed a contract with Cork City Council to acquire the Port of Cork City Quays.

As per our media statement yesterday, we have agreed to enter into talks with Cork City Council to develop a Heads of Agreement, to eventually relocate port activity downriver from the City Quays. A key point of this agreement will be to ensure that PoCC continues to facilitate trade within the City Quays, and we wish to reassure our clients, our staff and stakeholders that there will be no handover of the quays until proper infrastructure, including the construction of the M28, is in place.

The Port of Cork Company maintains its support for the Cork Docklands redevelopment potential. It remains an objective that all Port City Centre business will relocate downriver towards Tivoli, Marino Point and Ringaskiddy, however this future development will only take place with consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

Published in News Update

The €86 million new container terminal at Ringaskiddy is to be brought into operation tomorrow by the Port of Cork company.

Conor Mowlds, the Port’s Chief Commercial Officer says this will be “a monumental milestone, the largest investment in our 250-year history. It’s a pivotal project in our strategic efforts to enhance and future proof our offering which will position Cork as an international gateway for trade.”

The weekly Maersk’s Costarican service will be the first to use the new facility in the lower harbour area, according to the Port Company.

Published in Port of Cork
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Brittany Ferries is doubling its service from Cork to France.

In addition to the regular Saturday sailing to Roscoff there will be an additional midweek service overnight on Wednesdays as part of a three-year deal signed today between the French ferry operator and the Port of Cork company.

Cork Port CEO Eoin McGettigan said the deal marks a 45-year connection and, after a challenging two-year pandemic, is a welcome return to tourism and ferry travel.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons predicted a €4m. boost to local tourism and stressed the importance of ferry services to an island nation. Absolutely critical for Ireland, he said. In 2019, the last major tourism year before the pandemic there had been 557,000 visitors from France to Ireland.

Brittany Ferries President, Jean-Marc Roué, said tourist traffic was 55 to 45 per cent in favour of French holidaying in Ireland. Early bookings are up over 35 per cent on 2019, the last year of ‘normal’ operations due to Covid.

The new deal was announced aboard the MV Arorique at Ringaskiddy. It will sail the midweek service, with the Pont Aven, the company’s flagship again operating on Saturdays.

Sailings will operate from this month until October.

Published in Ferry

Rotterdam based Value Maritime has secured a contract from shipping operator BG Freight Line (see previous story) to install its Filtree and carbon capture system on two feeder vessels, BG Onyx and BG Ruby.

Chartered from German shipowner HS Schiffahrt, these ships are scheduled to be retrofitted in the summer.

Upon completion of the upgrades, the ships will continue to sail in North-West Europe (where BG Freight's 'feeder' links call to UK and Ireland via Dublin Port and the Port of Cork)

They will emit less carbon and use Value Maritime outlets across the region to reuse carbon on land.

Value Maritime’s Filtree includes a Clean-Loop system and Carbon Capture feature.

Ship Technology has more on the contract to the container company which is a subsidiary of Peel Ports Group, the UK's second largest ports operator.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

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