ESB and Iarnród Éireann (Port Authority for Rosslare Europort) have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on the organisations’ respective development plans to support offshore wind projects in the Celtic and Irish Seas.
With ESB developing a portfolio of offshore wind farms, and Rosslare Europort progressing plans to establish the port as Ireland’s offshore renewables hub, the joint initiative seeks to take advantage of their respective fields of expertise and knowledge. The MOU establishes a common goal of maximising the opportunities of each parties’ respective development plans.
While non-exclusive in nature, the agreement sets out the two organisations’ intention to work together with the aim of developing a port solution capable of supporting ESB’s offshore developments in Ireland, in line with the country’s climate action targets and ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy.
In 2022, Rosslare Europort management announced plans to establish the port, its hinterland and the south-east region as Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub, with the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs.
The port is uniquely located within 60-100 nautical miles of most of the planned developments in the Irish and Celtic seas, including many of the portfolio of OWF projects being developed by ESB within Ireland.
To deliver its vision for ORE, Rosslare Europort plans significant works, including:
- ORE purpose-built quay and berth
- ORE quayside storage and pre-construction / up to 50 acres in area
- Navigable channel dredged down to a minimum of 9-11 metres depth
- Management Control Centre & management offices and facilities for Operations and Maintenance
Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers said: “Offshore Renewable Energy is integral to meeting Ireland’s Climate Change ambitions with a target of achieving 7GW of offshore energy by 2030, 2GW of which is dedicated to the production of green hydrogen.
“As set out in a policy statement published in December 2021 a multiport approach to the provision of port infrastructure will facilitate the development of ORE in Ireland which will help maximise the economic benefits at regional as well as national level in terms of the creation of jobs and new SME enterprise that can support the development of the ORE industry.
“This agreement between Rosslare Europort and ESB is a welcome demonstration of the collaboration and commitment by these two commercial entities in delivering on our ORE ambitions”
Glenn Carr, Director Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority Rosslare Europort said: “Rosslare Europort is excited to work with ESB whose vision for the potential of ORE aligns with our own. We believe there are strong synergies to be achieved as we work together to place this renewable energy industry at the heart of Ireland’s decarbonised future.”
Paul Lennon, Head of Offshore Wind and Hydrogen at ESB says: “ESB has ambitious plans for the development of offshore wind, hydrogen and renewable storage projects in Ireland to support the renewable targets set out in the Climate Action Plan 2023 and ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 corporate strategy. ESB looks forward to working with Irish Rail to ensure that suitable port infrastructure is available at Rosslare Europort to enable the successful delivery of these projects.”