Written Answers. - Shannon Foynes Port Company.

Michael Finucane

Question:

134 Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if, following the amalgamation of both Foynes and Shannon Estuary Ports in accordance with his commitment in Dáil Éireann on 29 June 2000, in which he stated he would move an order quickly identifying Foynes as the headquarters location, he has honoured this commitment. [7459/01]

Michael Finucane

Question:

135 Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the progress he is making in the provision of equity of £8 million for the new amalgamated Shannon Foynes Port Company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7460/01]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 134 and 135 together.

Article 5 of the Harbours Acts, 1996 and 2000 (Transfer of Functions of Foynes Port Company and Shannon Estuary Ports Company) Order, 2000 (S.I. No. 283 of 2000), made by me on 18 September 2000, states that "the headquarters and registered office of the transferee company (Shannon Foynes Port Company) shall be located at Foynes in the County of Limerick".

As the Deputy is aware, I committed to making available a sum of up to £3 million to meet the cost of the essential craneage and handling equipment at the port of Foynes and Limerick docks as a concrete reflection of the Government's commitment to the new single port company. A sum of £1 million, sought by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, was provided on the 28 December 2000 to facilitate the initial phase of procurement.

I am advised that the board of the Shannon Foynes Port Company, along with its specialist management consultants, is assessing the financial status of the new port company to establish the full extent of and requirements for capital works at both ports, the possibility of restructuring of loans, the potential for private sector involvement, port reorganisation and possible disposal of assets surplus to essential core business. I expect to receive, in due course, a fully developed and costed assessment of the financial requirements necessary to ensure effective operation of the new single port company and having full regard to the parameters detailed above.