Galway Port hits turnover of €6m as offshore wind benefits blow in

[Source: Business Post] 

Revenues generated by the port, led by chief executive Conor O’Dowd, have expanded significantly in recent years.

Galway port’s turnover rose to almost €6 million last year following strong growth in its shipping operations linked to onshore wind projects.

Revenues generated by the Port of Galway, led by chief executive Conor O’Dowd, have expanded significantly in recent years due to its involvement in the delivery of renewable energy projects.

O’Dowd told the Business Post that the port has been key to the completion of 150 megawatts created across several onshore wind energy projects.

He added one current project the Port of Galway is involved in is the Yellow River Wind Farm, an SSE Renewables 100 megawatt project in Co. Offaly.

“From June 2022 to June 2024, we'll do about 350 megawatts through the port. That's a very significant part of Irish energy infrastructure,” he said.

In 2022, Galway port recorded revenue of €5.2 million, a large increase on the €3.7 million registered the previous year. During that period, earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) rose from €1.3 million to €2.3 million.

O’Dowd told the Business Post that revenue was almost €6 million in 2023, with EBITA remaining steady at around €2.3 million.

“Obviously the pandemic impacted our business somewhat, but we've been a solid performing business for a number of years. We’ve seen very significant growth due to big wind turbine projects. Actually November was a record month for us financially.”

Galway’s port, based in the city centre, is restricted to operating for four hours a day and can only accommodate vessels bearing loads up to 6,000 tonnes.

In 2014, the company behind the port applied for permission from An Bord Pleanála to develop a new expanded port on a nearby site. O’Dowd said a decision on the application, which has required lengthy oral hearings and additional information from the port, is expected in the next year.

In December, Galway’s harbour was awarded Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) status. TEN-T is a designation awarded by the EU to large ports based on tonnage and passenger numbers.

O’Dowd said the TEN-T status is crucial to expansion of the port in the coming years, with the designation now meaning the company can apply for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility.