Port of Waterford Expects Significant Growth to 2020
The Port of Waterford’s recently launched business plan lays the groundwork for a significant increase in activity through investment in port infrastructure and services. The plan sets out the objectives and ambitions of the Port of Waterford for the years to 2020. Activity and profitability are expected to grow significantly over this period as the groundwork and resources are put in place for the next phase of the Port’s development.
The Port of Waterford is a port of national significance within the terms of the National Ports Policy and is a comprehensive port on the Ten-T Network. It has become a vital changeover point and a fundamentally important facilitator of economic development in the region.
According to Frank Ronan, Chief Executive, “The Port is highly efficient and perfectly positioned to provide a fast, flexible, personal service that gives our customers and partners a seamless connection to their markets. We serve the Southeast Region and further afield through excellent sea, rail and road connectivity. The main centre of operations is at Belview Port on the River Suir, 5km downstream from Waterford City. The Port handles very substantial vessels with ships drafts of up to 9.5 metres and lengths of up to 200 metres. Belview has excellent inland connectivity with direct access to the M9 and active rail connections into the port.”
Belview Port currently handles over 1 million tonnes of bulk products (mainly agri-related) together with another 100k+ tonnes of break bulk (mainly timber and steel). The Port also operates in the Container/Lo-Lo sector handling 40k TEU annually.
The new business plan forecasts the port’s container handling activity more than doubling to 90,000 TEU and bulk tonnage increasing to just under 1.6 million tonnes. These increases in activity will drive revenue to over €9 million with EBITDA growing to €3.3 million from a current level of c €1.2 million.
The plan is to expend €7 million on capital projects over the period and to deal with dividend and pension obligations while building profitability and available resources, as will be required to fund the next stage of the Ports development.
Mr Ronan added: “It has been 200 years since the original incorporation of Waterford Harbour Commissioners (our predecessor). After two centuries it is immensely rewarding to see the Port continuing to play such a vital economic role.”