Thursday 21 June 2007

Final plans for €160m port facility on display

THE Port of Cork will unveil the final plans today for its massive €160 million container facility planned for Ringaskiddy.

Port officials said last night that they have addressed several concerns about traffic, noise and visual impact which were raised by the public during the first round of public consultations last December.

They and representatives from their consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers, will outline later today several mitigation measures they intend to take to deal with those issues.

A draft Environmental Impact Statement on the massive project at Oyster Bank — which includes the reclamation of almost 18 hectares of land — will also be on display.

The massive project is being dealt with by the State’s Strategic Infrastructure Bill designed to fast-track major infrastructural projects.

Port officials are due to meet with that body within the coming weeks to finalise their planning application, which could be lodged within two months.

A final decision could be made by the middle of next year, depending on the outcome of public hearings.

The proposed new facility will replace the port’s city-based Tivoli Docks container facility.

With a capacity for 180,000 units, it handled 155,000 container units and port traffic is still growing.

The new container terminal, together with a multi-purpose roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) berth, will be able to handle twice the volume of Tivoli.

Work is expected to be carried out in two phases — phase one will cater for 300,000 container units. Phase two will complete the facility allowing it to cater for 600,000 units.

The port also has plans to build a new €70m bulks facility at the nearby ADM jetty.

The plans for the port’s move downstream were first proposed in 2002, as part of the Port of Cork’s Strategic Development Plan.

Today’s public consultation sessions will take place at the Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal between 11am and 2pm and again between 5pm and 8pm.

Irish Examiner

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