European transport funding chiefs bound for ‘Motorways of the Sea’ seminar this week

Tuesday, May 15th 2018:  The Shannon Estuary’s importance on a European scale as a key transport network infrastructure will be mirrored on Friday when a major think-in on how goods will travel post Brexit is held.


Some of Europe’s leading transport infrastructure officials and experts on funding opportunities will travel to Limerick for a conference hosted by Shannon Foynes Port Company.  Officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Irish Maritime Development Office as well as representatives from the transport sector will also attend.  


The seminar is being held under the flag of the European Commission’s ‘Motorways of the Sea’ concept, which aims to introduce new inter-modal maritime-based logistics chains in Europe to improve our transport organisation within the years to come.


The conference, titled ‘Understanding the Opportunities from the EU’, has been brought to Limerick in recognition of the importance of the Shannon Foynes Port Company and the unique opportunity it has, thanks in large part to its natural deep waters,


Among those travelling for the conference will be Brian Simpson, European Coordinator for the Motorways of the Sea and Professor Péter Balázs, European Coordinator for the North-Sea Mediterranean Corridor, who will be making his second visit to Foynes in just over a year. 


Looking ahead to the seminar, Shannon Foynes Port Company CEO Patrick Keating said:  “The very fact that the seminar is being hosted in this region says a lot about the potential of the Shannon Foynes Port Company.  We are already designated a Ten T core port by Europe, which is the top status that a port can achieve. The seminar also comes at a particularly sensitive time given the impact of the changing relationship between the UK and EU.


“It’s a great opportunity for us, not least as some of the most influential officials in the EU when it comes to funding will be attending.  We’ve already received more than €7million  from the EU transport funds over the past threes, which is a major vote of confidence in our growth plans and we’ve more than validated it by the progress we’re making.”



During his visit last year to Foynes, Professor Balázs endorsed the potential for the Shannon Foynes Port Company when he said: “I am impressed by the developments. I can see since my first visit here more than two years ago the progress and I am convinced that Shannon Foynes has obvious opportunities.”


Among the opportunities he cited were its deep-water access, not least at a time when other ports are spending huge amounts deepening their waters whereas SFPC has it naturally, while another is its long term plan, Vision 2041.