The director of University of Limerick’s Bernal Institute has welcomed the launch of Shannon Foynes Port Company’s new Floating Offshore Wind Plan.

Professor Luuk van der Wielen, who is a member of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, attended the recent launch of the plan along with Ray O’Brien, Business Development Manager at the Bernal Institute.

The plan which was launched on Friday in the presence of Minister Eamonn Ryan and the members of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, who were appointed by Government to assess the strategic strengths and comparative advantages of the Shannon Estuary and to scope out potential economic opportunities for the area.

The Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) launched the new plan as part of its 2041 Strategic Review. It was produced by Bechtel Ireland and details scenarios for the development of up to 30 GW of Floating Off-shore Wind from the Shannon Estuary. It also outlines energy generation scenarios and on-shore green industrial integration.

Pat Keating SFPC CEO details in the plan the advantages of the Shannon Estuary, such as the deep water characteristics, zoned strategic development locations and proximity to the Atlantic’s wind potential while being sheltered by natural geography.

Paul Deane, project lead at Bechtel Ireland, indicated that the consultations with Professor van der Wielen and the wider Bernal team “were very beneficial to the report, particularly with respect to circularity and innovation; they are both powerful messages and opportunities for the region.”

The plan offers many opportunities for research, development and innovation as well as professional education with regional academic institutes such as UL, TUS and MTU.

Professor van der Wielen said: “As University of Limerick and Bernal Institute, we are strategically committed to the sustainable economic development of the region and Ireland in the European context. We are looking forward to supporting further development opportunities around the projected Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing and Recycling Innovation Hub, manufacturing of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Chemicals and Circular Materials, many elements of the FLOW Supply Chain and other opportunities. This is a daring yet realistic plan.”