Dublin Port launches €400m expansion

Posted on November 23, 2021

The €400m (£336m) 3FM Project will deliver 20% of the port capacity required by 2040 as well as a new bridge across the Liffey, three new public parks and 5km of cycle and pedestrian routes.

Construction will begin in 2026 and be completed between 2030 and 2035.

The project is at the pre-planning stage and DPC will lodge a planning application with Ireland’s planning authority, An Bord Pleanála, in early 2023. Between now and then, the company will prepare the detailed project design and environmental impact reports required. The launch is intended to start a detailed conversation with all stakeholders before the work begins.

The 3FM project has six elements:

  • A new private road called the Southern Port Access Route (SPAR) to link the north and south port areas, taking HGVs off the public road via a new bridge across the River Liffey immediately east of the Tom Clarke Bridge;
  • The construction of the largest container terminal in the country in front of ESB’s Poolbeg Power Station with an annual throughput capacity of 360,000 containers (612,000 TEU);
  • The redevelopment of the existing blue container terminal to create a new Ro-Ro freight terminal in its place with an annual throughput capacity of 288,000 freight trailers;
  • Creation of a 325m-diameter ship turning circle in front of Pigeon House Harbour;
  • Development of 6.1 hectares of new public parks in three locations on the Poolbeg Peninsula;
  • Provision of a 1 hectare site to accommodate utilities needed, firstly, for the City’s district heating scheme powered by the Covanta waste to energy plant and, secondly, to accommodate a range of utilities for the Pembroke at Dublin Four development.

Dublin Port’s chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly said: “There is very little spare capacity for future growth of unitised trade in Dublin Port or in any other port in the country.  Planning for long-term needs as far out as 2040 is very difficult and it is important for us in Dublin Port to plan early to ensure that we are ready to construct nationally essential port capacity in advance of demand.

“We are developing Dublin Port based on Masterplan 2040 at an overall estimated cost of €1.6 billion over the 30 years from 2010 to 2040.  Port infrastructure is very expensive and, by the end of this year, we will have invested €500m in the 11 years since 2010.  Over the next five years, we will invest a further €450m.  We aim to begin to build the €400m 3FM Project in 2026 and to complete it between 2030 and 2035.

“Masterplan 2040 projects that Dublin Port will need capacity for an annual throughput of 3.1 million trailers and containers by 2040.  The 3FM Project will deliver one-fifth of this capacity by way of a new Lo-Lo terminal – 360,000 containers per annum – and a new Ro-Ro freight terminal – 288,000 freight trailers per annum.”

He added that active travel is now a feature of all development plans in the country and the 3FM Project will provide walking and cycling routes throughout the Poolbeg Peninsula. “The new bridge we are proposing as part of the Southern Port Access Route will link this network across the river into the north side of Dublin Port where we already have ten kilometres of cycling and pedestrian routes under development,” he said.

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