ESB and the Port of Cork Company (PoCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the development of Ireland’s renewable energy sector. The collaboration will enable both parties to utilise and share their expertise to progress plans for Ireland’s offshore wind and green hydrogen development.
Under ESB’s sustainability strategy Driven to Make a Difference: Net Zero by 2040, collaboration with key partners, such as the Port of Cork, will play a critical role as the company progresses its development of renewable energy in Ireland. The PoCC shares the same ambition to work with its partners to realise Cork Harbour's potential as a renewable energy hub, as outlined in its regional development strategy, Port Masterplan 2050.
The Port of Cork can be a key enabler of the green energy sector in Ireland by taking advantage of its natural harbour, deep-water channels, deep-water berths, and by reclaiming land to accommodate large project cargoes for the offshore wind and green hydrogen sectors. The Port Masterplan 2050 outlines the Port’s ambitious plans to develop the necessary port infrastructure to facilitate and support the offshore renewable energy and green hydrogen sectors.
This partnership also supports the Government’s Climate Action Plan and its ambition to increase the proportion of renewable electricity up to 80% by 2030 and a target of at least 5 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. Ireland's offshore wind energy potential is significant, with a maritime area more than seven times the size of its landmass, ideal wind conditions, and strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean's edge.
Speaking about the announcement, Ciaran McManus, Asset Development Manager at ESB, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Port of Cork Company as we explore the real opportunities and benefits that offshore wind energy and hydrogen will provide both locally, and nationally in the future. This collaboration is important for both organisations as we strive to achieve net-zero emissions and develop the infrastructure that is required for producing, storing and distributing clean energy.”
The MoU was announced ahead of Wind Energy Ireland's Annual Conference, which begins today, 14 February 2023.
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Cork Company added: “At the Port of Cork Company, we are excited to be working with ESB on this very important initiative. We see significant opportunities for Cork Harbour to become a hub for renewable energy, which will benefit the environment, local businesses and create employment in the region. We look forward to working with ESB and our partners to utilise our facilities at this strategic location, and to supporting the development of renewable energy opportunities in Cork.”
Notes to Editor:
About Port of Cork Company
The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of the three Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) as designated by National Ports Policy.
The National Ports Policy mandates Tier 1 Ports to lead the response in meeting Ireland’s future port capacity requirements. In this capacity, the port is also central to the national economic growth given that national ports handle approximately 90% of all imported and exported tonnage in Ireland.
As a multi-model port it is only one of two ports in Ireland to service all six shipping modes - lift on/ lift off, roll-on/ roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.
The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the broad range of commercial running of Cork harbour as well as the navigation and berthage in the port.
In 2021, the Ports of Cork and Bantry reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.6 million tonnes in line with 2020. The PoCC’s direct workforce is over 160 staff, however, it supports thousands of jobs through indirect employment through warehouses, hauliers and shipping agents.
The Port of Cork Company’s facilities and operations are situated at four distinct locations in Cork’s natural deep water harbour: The City Quays provide the service for bulks, both Tivoli and Cork Container Terminal (CCT) Ringaskiddy provide the lift on/ lift off, roll-on/ roll-off and bulks services, while Cobh caters for cruise liners with Ireland’s only dedicated deep-water berth for cruise ships.
ESB operates across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers. In addition, ESB invests in supplying gas, energy services and, through Siro (its joint venture with Vodafone), fibre for telecommunications. In H1 2022, ESB had a 31% share of generation in the all-island market (via ESB Generation and Trading) and a 41% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (via Electric Ireland). ESB Networks owns the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Electricity Networks owns the distribution and transmission networks in Northern Ireland.