Warrenpoint Port to become Irish CO2 hub with £9.5m investment
Warrenpoint Port is to become a major CO2 hub following the announcement of a £9.5m investment.
The port revealed that Japanese industrial gas company Nippon Gases is to establish a liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) import and distribution terminal at the port, in the first major investment in Ireland by the firm since it bought Praxair Gases Europe last December.
The facility, which will store liquid CO2 for the food and drinks industry across Ireland, aims to significantly improve security of supply for the gas on both sides of the border, and also lead to a major reduction in carbon emissions by minimising the need for road tankers.
Work is due to start in the summer on the construction of the facility, which is expected to become operational in the second quarter of next year.
Clare Guinness, chief executive of Warrenpoint Port, said: "This investment by Nippon Gases is a major endorsement of Warrenpoint Port and recognises the benefits provided by our unique position equidistant between Belfast and Dublin that ideally places the harbour to facilitate the distribution of goods across the whole of Ireland.
"The commencement of construction work on the terminal soon will signal the final stage of a scheme that we have been working on for some time. The project represents another important element in our efforts to enhance Warrenpoint Port's offering and cement our position as a catalyst for economic growth in the local region and further afield."
The establishment of the liquid carbon dioxide import terminal, which will hold approximately 2,500 tonnes, follows a major shortage of the gas experienced in Ireland and the United Kingdom during the summer of 2018.
Gerard Dore, commercial manager for Nippon Gases, said all liquid carbon dioxide is currently imported via road tankers coming across the Irish Sea.
He added: "With this investment in Ireland, Nippon are changing the supply chain radically for their Irish customers by importing via ship rather than road tanker. It is worth noting that one ship will be the equivalent of 90 road tankers coming across the Irish Sea. The carbon footprint reduction is very large."
He said the investment would guarantee a supply of food grade and traceable liquid carbon dioxide in the future.