Cork business representatives have called on the Irish Government to increase investment in port infrastructure in order to attract renewable energy companies. In their pre-budget submission, Cork Chamber proposed the creation of a new fund to support Cork and Dublin in achieving EU climate targets and attracting future projects. The fund would be used to develop infrastructure, public transport, energy, and housing, with the aim of enhancing the city’s appeal for foreign direct investment (FDI) and talent. Cork Chamber President Ronan Murray emphasized the importance of this investment in propelling the city forward.
A recent report by Wind Energy Ireland revealed that Belfast is currently the only fully equipped port in Ireland to serve as a construction base for wind farms. As a result, ports along Ireland’s east and west coasts are racing against time to prepare for projects that have secured contracts through EirGrid’s first auction for offshore wind farm electricity generation. However, the development of these ports comes at a high cost. Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company, estimated that new port infrastructure would require an investment of approximately €500 million.
In addition to the call for increased port infrastructure investment, Cork Chamber also urged the extension of the Croí Cónaithe cities scheme to the rental market. This extension would contribute to the viability of rental apartments, addressing the ongoing housing concerns in the region. Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy emphasized that housing remains a top priority for their members.
The proposals put forward by Cork Chamber highlight the need for continued investment in infrastructure and housing in order to attract renewable energy companies and address the housing crisis. As Ireland strives to meet its EU climate targets, it is crucial that the necessary resources are allocated to support these goals. The development of port infrastructure and the extension of the Croí Cónaithe scheme would not only enhance the attractiveness of Cork and Dublin for investment and talent, but also contribute to the overall sustainable development of the country.