Port outsourcing plan

EXPRESSIONS of interest are being sought from parties willing to take over the running of the port of Dundalk.

EXPRESSIONS of interest are being sought from parties willing to take over the running of the port of Dundalk.

The move follows the amalgamation of Dundalk Port Company with the State-owned Dublin Port Company earlier this month.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar announced the decision to amalgamate the ports on May 19 last. The move followed a recommendation from economist Colm McCarthy from his recent review of State assets.

Minister Varadkar said the “financial difficulties” faced by Dundalk meant that it could “no longer” operate independently and could now close.

The following month the Chief Executive of Dundalk Port Captain Frank Allen announced he was stepping down after eight years to become Dun Laoghaire’s new Harbour master.

Dundalk Port made an operating loss of e363,000 in 2009 while its sales fell by 17 per cent to just over e1 billion. Dundalk’s losses are believed to have more than doubled in 2010.

Dublin Port is now seeking to outsource the running of Dundalk port. The successful party will be responsible for stevedoring, warehousing, the upkeep of the port estate and security.