22 October 2015

EIB commits €100m to Dublin Port ABR Project

Cargo volumes up 5.8% in first nine months, ferry passengers sail past 1.4m, Dublin Port on track for record year

The Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Jonathan Taylor, will today meet with Dublin Port Company representatives to finalise financing arrangements for Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project.  The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe, T.D. will also be in attendance to discuss Ireland’s long-term infrastructure development plans.  

The EIB has committed to providing a €100m loan amortising over 20 years, reflecting the long-term nature of the ABR Project. This is the first time in 20 years for the EIB to finance port infrastructure development in Ireland and highlights the strategic significance of the project, which has a grant of planning permission from An Bord Pleanála.  The largest single infrastructure development project in the history of Dublin Port, Dublin Port’s ABR Project is expected to take five years to complete, costing an estimated €230 million.  An analysis by Indecon International Economic Consultants of the wider economic impacts arising from the ABR Project found that for every €1 million in economic costs, the project is associated with €2.80 million in economic benefits.

Q3 2015 Trade Figures

Today’s meeting comes as trade volumes continue to rise at Dublin Port in line with projections for a record year in 2015. New figures show total throughput (imports and exports) for the year to 30th September was 24 million gross tonnes, an increase of 5.8% on the 23 million tonnes handled in the first nine months last year.  Showing further improvement in the domestic economy, imports rose 6.0% to 14.4 million gross tonnes on the same trading period, while exports strengthened by 5.5% to reach 9.9 million gross tonnes.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “It is clear now that 2015 will be a record year and that yet more growth will come in future years as Ireland’s economy recovers.  The strong growth on the import side and, within this, the 8.2% growth in petroleum imports from 2.7m to 2.9m tonnes and the 12,000 additional cars imported in the first nine months all come from the welcomed recovery in the domestic economy.”

Summary of Throughput Statistics – 2015 Year to Date   


2015 YTD

2014 YTD

% Var

Imports  (‘000 gross tonnes)




Exports (‘000 gross tonnes)




Total throughput (‘000 gross tonnes)




Ro-Ro (freight units)




Lo-Lo (TEUs)




Trade Vehicles




Ferry Passengers




Unitised trade grew across both Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo modes. When compared to the same nine months last year, Ro-Ro trailers pushed ahead by 6.6% to 650,104. The port’s Lo-Lo container business, which had been the worst affected cargo mode during the downturn, continues to recover strongly, and is up 8.0% to 452,992 TEU.  The growth in unitised business follows increased passenger and freight sailings to and from Britain and Continental Europe, confirming Dublin Port as the island’s port of choice for Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo services.

New car and commercial vehicle imports continued apace with over 70,000 (70,483) new vehicles imported through Dublin Port in the first nine months of the year, up 20.7% on the same period last year.  On the tourism side, over 1.4 million ferry passengers passed through Dublin Port in the first nine months of the year, up 6.3% on the same period last year.  The figures reflect strong growth in passenger numbers travelling to Britain and France for holidays during peak season.

There was an 11.3% increase in the number of cruise ships calling at Dublin Port in the first nine months of the year with 89 cruise liners bringing almost 100,000 (98,253) high spend passengers to the capital to date.  The third quarter included the arrival of four luxury cruise ships carrying 13,000 passengers in a single day.  With Dublin Port’s cruise season extending until December and further cruise calls scheduled, the company’s forecast of a record cruise season remains firmly on track.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port welcomes today’s visit by the Vice President of the European Investment Bank as we finalise arrangements for €100m financing for the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  This is the next step to commencing work on the project, having already secured permission from An Bord Pleanála.  Against a background of strongly growing trade, the availability of long term and well-priced finance is essential to allow us to invest in the port capacity needed in the future.  We do not have spare capacity in the port and it is essential that we stay ahead of the growth with essential investment in port infrastructure.  The long-term support of the EIB is just what we need.”

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President, said:“Investment to upgrade Europe’s key ports is essential to improve transport logistics and reduce transport costs passed onto consumers. The Port of Dublin is a crucial transport hub for Ireland and the European Investment Bank looks forward to supporting redevelopment of the Alexandra Basin. This reflects our firm commitment to supporting transport schemes across Ireland such as the M11 road upgrade announced last week and Luas cross city connection currently being built.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., said:As a Tier 1 port of national significance, Dublin Port has a strategic role in supporting economic recovery and facilitating future growth.  Today’s meeting with the EIB Vice President and commitment to €100m financing for Dublin Port’s ABR Project is significant.  It represents confidence in Dublin Port to handle 60 million tonnes of cargo by 2040 and fulfil its mandate of operating an efficient, well-resourced port that can facilitate Ireland’s trading needs.”

“I commend Dublin Port Company on its long-term vision and prudent financial planning to realise the project with the support of EIB.  Government’s Capital Plan similarly takes a long-term approach to infrastructure investment and includes an allocation of almost €10 billion from my Department to prioritise the development of our transport network and facilitate a growing economy.”   

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