Northern Ireland port makes major investment
A port in Northern Ireland has committed GB£254m of investment to deliver new marine and estate infrastructure.
Belfast Harbour’s investment is part of a 2019-2023 Strategic Plan to boost Northern Ireland’s economy. The plan focuses on increased collaboration and partnerships with key city stakeholders to drive growth and regeneration in Belfast’s waterfront area and has been unveiled alongside an outlook through to 2035.
Belfast Harbour’s chairman, David Dobbin, said: “Over the next five years Belfast Harbour intends to invest £254 million in new Port and estate infrastructure and facilities. This major investment programme is really only possible because of our Trust Port status which allows us to reinvest every penny of our net earnings back into the business.”
Belfast Harbour will upgrade its cranes and material handling equipment, install new ramps to accommodate larger vessels and build new storage facilities. Work will also begin on digital ‘Smart Port’ initiatives to provide greater automation and a new unified system to coordinate cargo and shipping communications.
Bigger projects ahead
The projects planned over the next five years will lay the foundation for more substantial “once-in-a-generation” investments. Detailed in Belfast Harbour’s ‘2035 Outlook’ these long-term proposals include schemes to deepen the port’s shipping channel to accommodate larger vessels and to create new deep-water quays, to enhance the port’s capacity to attract new trade.
Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said the strategy also involves partnership initiatives to include projects to target new port trades, skills programmes to support employers, a Global Innovation Institute to encourage R&D and an accelerator programme to stimulate innovative business.
Belfast Harbour has also set out plans to be one of the world’s most sustainable ports by deploying new technologies to improve air quality, reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions. The port will “digitise, decarbonise and decentralise” its energy usage by providing shore-side power for vessels and creating a green micro-energy grid throughout Belfast Harbour Estate.
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