Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2379)

James Browne


2379. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to upgrade Rosslare Europort to tier 1 status in view of the threats of Brexit and the need to develop ports. [32188/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

National Ports Policy 2013 designated Rosslare Europort as a Port of National Significance (Tier 2).

Ports of National Significance (Tier 2) ports are responsible for at least 2.5% of overall tonnage through Irish ports, have the potential to handle higher volumes of unitised traffic, and, have existing transport links to serve a wider, national marketplace beyond their immediate region, whereas Tier 1 ports are ports that are responsible for 15% to 20% of overall tonnage through Irish ports and have clear potential to lead the development of future port capacity in the medium and long term, when and as required.

The tonnage of goods handled at all Irish ports are published annually by the Central Statistics Office. Rosslare Europort continues to fulfil the criteria of a Port of National Significance (Tier 2).

Rosslare Europort as a division of Iarnród Éireann is effectively managing operations at the port and looking at the potential of the Port to develop further and take advantage of any new opportunities. The Port is targeting growth and new business opportunities and in 2018 received the approval of the Iarnród Éireann Board for a strategic plan to grow the Port’s business. This includes investment plans for up to €25 million in customer facilities and port infrastructure, port assets, and new technology. The Port is engaging with a number of potential new shipping customers to supplement existing operators and offer greater choice to freight and passenger business.

I recognise that Brexit will have implications for a number of key ports and airports, and Rosslare continues to work closely with my Department and a range of other relevant Government Departments and Offices in preparing for the additional border controls that will arise from Brexit. In this context, my Department has met Rosslare Port management on a number of occasions over the past two years about the infrastructure requirements of the Port in connection with Brexit. My Department has also been meeting ferry and shipping companies regarding their plans for dealing with the challenges of Brexit.