Dublin Port’s latest development project is set to accommodate changing trade patterns that have already seen volumes of goods ferried between Ireland and the UK decline as a result of looming Brexit concerns.
The project could cost in the region of €320m based on current prices.
The port’s so-called MP2 Project, for which a planning application is being lodged with An Bord Pleanála, aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility, to cope with increases in trade up to 2040.
The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240m in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth as a future deep-water container berth.
Dublin Port Company, a semi-State body, is currently spending about €277m on its so-called Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR). Due to be completed by 2021, it will improve the port’s capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths.
The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028 that will also include initial work on the MP2 Project, as well as the continuing development of an inland port close to Dublin Airport.
“We are seeing clear evidence of the effects of Brexit in our trade figures,” said Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly.
He said that unitised trade with British ports rose 9.7pc in the first quarter of the year, but volumes declined 1.8pc in the second quarter.
“For unitised trade with continental Europe and beyond, on the other hand, first-quarter growth of 8.3pc was followed by even stronger growth of 10pc in quarter two,” he added.
“The MP2 Project is designed to facilitate growth in volumes to continental Europe, as Brexit changes trade patterns in the coming years.”
Dublin Port Company said that if it secures planning permission it will establish a €1m fund to set up a city farm, and a €1m trust for a local primary school impacted by the works.