Dublin Port has secured a €100m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to partly fund its €230m upgrade and expansion project, but its dredging plan has been met with anger from environmentalists and the local community.
As part of the port’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project, some 3km of its existing 7km of berths will be deepened to 10 metres from the existing 7 metres depth.
The port’s entrance channel will also be dredged to allow access for larger vessels, cruise ships in particular.
The port has filed a Dumping at Sea permit application with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow 9.7m tonnes of dredge material to be disposed of at an existing marine site off Howth Head. The Irish Underwater Council has warned that the large volume of material could reduce underwater visibility in the area and cause environmental damage.
A new terminal will for imported cars and a new €35m container terminal will be built as part of the port’s masterplan for 2012 to 2020.
The Alexandra Basin project is the first phase of the masterplan, which will also see improvements made to the site’s road network and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
“We expect the first phase of works to be tendered and a contractor ready to start by October 2015,” Eamonn O’Neill, Dublin Port Company CEO, told Irish press last month.