THE contract to operate Dundalk Port has been awarded to O’Hanlon & Sons Contractors Ltd following a public tender process, according to Dublin Port Company.
The tender follows the decision by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to transfer ownership of Dundalk Port to Dublin Port Company, which became effective on July 12.
At the time of the Minister’s announcement, Mr Varadkar indicated his hope that port activities would continue at Dundalk following the transfer and of a possibility that the port could return to local control, in co-operation with private sector operators.
Since the transfer, Dublin Port Company has restructured operations at the loss making Co Louth port with a view to seeking expressions of interest from those wanting to manage the day-to-day activities of Dundalk Port.
Under the terms of the agreement O’Hanlon & Sons Contractors Ltd, a local company, will be responsible for all commercial and operational matters in Dundalk Port.
Mr Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company described the move as a “unique development in the Irish port sector”.
He added: “I believe that if Dundalk is to have a future it is best to have local private sector interests empowered to carve out a future for themselves, for the port and for everybody who depends on the port.”