Masterplan Progress

 

Link to Nippon Gases Response to Newry Reporter 10/12/19

 

 

Questions and Answers submitted for Warrenpoint Port’s AGM

 

Question from Ian Dickie, Scotline

During 2018 Scotline on their Liner Service from Varberg, Sweden to their regular Ports of call in the Irish Sea, Warrenpoint, Belfast, Wicklow discharged 50383 CBM timber products in Warrenpoint. To date this year 19500 CBM has already shipped & at this stage Scotline expect similar quantities to be discharges to last year by end 2019.

Scotline for some time now have been concerned with delays in discharging vessels caused by shortage of labour & on occasions declining to work overtime in the evenings after 1700.  We do appreciate WHA have made efforts in recant recruit additional labour with limited success.

We would appreciate your comments how as a  Port you can tackle the labour situation, delays to  vessels cause shipping lines considerable sums of money  & difficulties maintaining schedules with  shippers & importers, unlike some other trades thru the Port Scotline are not in a position to raise  demurrage. All costs in delays are borne by Scotline . We do hope for a positive outcome to the present labour situation, the volumes Scotline are already shipping confirm their commitment to the  Port, & we expect to here today the excellent  Volumes moving thru the Port .

Answer

The local economy is close to full employment and this has caused us some difficulties in recruiting staff. We have employed staff more recently on a varied basis i.e. weekend only staff, permanent part-time and via agencies to try and bridge manpower gaps. We also utilise any available work force from our shipping agents. Delivering good customer service and efficient discharge of vessels is a key priority for the Port and we must continue to find more flexible ways of working to enable this.

 

Questions Received from Christine Gibson, Keep it Green noted below:-

Please find below the questions and issues I, on behalf of Keep it Green would like the Port to discuss tomorrow at the AGM:

Question

  1. Port Status – please explain if the Port is a private organisation or public as this is not clear – ie the Port has its own legislation as if it were public but acts a profit making organisation with co.uk and transparency issues. That is, can you explain what your understanding is of your “strong degree of public accountability and a strong public interest ethos”.

Answer

Trust ports are independent statutory bodies which are governed by their own unique statutes – there are no shareholders or owners. Trust ports must act commercially with any profits reinvested to develop, maintain and improve the port for the benefit of the regional economy. The Trust ports manage important assets on behalf of the public and therefore have a duty to report on their operations and act in the public interest.

Question

Who is responsible for creating legislation for the Port and how does the Board and Management Team influence that process?

Answer

Government set the legislative and governance framework within which the Trust ports operate. There are no current proposals to change legislation.

Question

Can the Port, to ensure our “safety” (see no.2 below) put forward a proposal for new legislation that ensures the Port carries out environmental assessments, to EU standards, and is responsible for the wellbeing of all those who work, visit and live in or near the Port with regards to your activities?

Answer

We are currently compliant with all existing requirements. There are no current proposals to change legislation.

From 2018 Annual Report:

“Warrenpoint Harbour Authority is a Trust Port. It is not owned by Government but operates autonomously and with a degree of public accountability and a strong public interest ethos. The Port is required to operate in a commercial manner and is an independent statutory body governed by its own legislation. Governing legislation includes the Harbours Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority Order 1971, the Harbours (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 and the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority Order (Northern Ireland) 2002. The Board is comprised of a Chairman, four non-executive Directors, three local councillors and two members of the executive team..”

Question

  1. Duty of Care and Candour – Integrity, Transparency and Openness – does the Port still contend it is “open and ethical in all our activities” (see below) in all its operational activities as there is very limited information on the website as to Port developments, decisions made or dates on any documents.  Please note that press releases are not a means of formally informing the public, we need access to formal reports with dates and signatories to understand decision processes that are made.

 

Answer

We have a governance structure in place which sees management make day to day operational decisions and the Board make strategic decisions. We operate for a commercial purpose and in the business environment there are commercial sensitivities – we recognise the public are interested in port development hence the Masterplan which was recently updated on website and in press.

Question

Is the Community in the wider Port area considered as bone fide Stakeholders (as per your Mission Statement – the Port will “grow in a safe and sustainable way for our stakeholders”)?

Answer

Yes the community is one of a number of Port stakeholders

Question

Does the Port include the Community as “customers” when referring to its Values of “Safety First”

Answer

Whilst the Port takes the well-being of all stakeholders seriously, the Safety First Value is primarily directed towards those who work for, in and with the Port as they are most exposed to Port activities it being their place of work.

Question

  1. Environmental Assessments – Since the employment of the new Health and Environment Manager, what assessments have been carried out and where can we access this information with regards to the air, water, noise and light pollution in the imminent residential area deriving from the Port?

 

Answer

Environmental monitoring – dust monitoring on site, noise when required. There is no light pollution monitoring nor water monitoring conducted as we are not subject to same. Light is essential for the Port to operate and there is H&S guidance to be complied with. Any complaints are logged and investigated, Council and NIEA have open access to the site to ensure ongoing compliance with relevant regulations.

Question

In the same manner, when will the Port plant and grow broadleaved trees around the main Port area to help reduce noise, light, air and water pollution?

Answer

Tree planting has been conducted along edge of site and will continue to try and enhance the ports perimeter over time.

Question

Will the Port acknowledge the radioactive/nuclear contaminants that exist in the Lough from the report sent to Claire Guinness last year entitled Radioactivity in NI 2011-2014?

Answer

CEO noted that she does recall Ms Gibson sending her a report from that date – the one sent to her was dated 1994. The 1994 report stated that the levels of radioactivity were low and not dangerous to human health

Question

  1. CO2 Plan – Could someone please explain the CO2 plan – ie the justification of having CO2 stored so close to a residential area , the health and safety risks that have been mitigated against, who are the customers (and in particular are Infrastrata and/or Dalradian (or any of their derivatives) potential customers, and the timeframe of gas coming to the Port and lifecycle of this project? and what is the Port’s emergency plan eg where the Port has or will install CO2 sensors and what are the warning systems in place for the Port and the public in the surrounding area given that is it is a toxic gas?

Answer

The justification for the CO2 terminal is to allow direct bulk import to serve the existing market in the island of Ireland for liquid carbon dioxide. The investment in the new facility will improve the security of supply for the market and remove the need for road tankers to cross the Irish Sea by ferry, yielding significant environmental and logistic benefits.

The United Nations define carbon dioxide as a Class 2, Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gas. It is a normal component of human respiration and the effects of exposure to low levels are fully reversible with no chronic effect.  CO2 is not listed as a hazardous product under the Seveso III or COMAH directives; the storage of bulk liquid carbon dioxide is not considered to be a Major Hazard by the EU or the UK HSE.

The terminal has been designed in accordance with all relevant national and international standards and subject to independently chaired Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) and Safety Integrity Level (SIL) studies.

Theoretical risk assessment, using data from the Dutch TNO – Guidelines for Quantitative Risk Assessment –

“Purple Book”,  estimates the probability of a significant failure at less than 1 in 100,000 years . The UK HSE’s paper on CO2 storage (HSE Assessment of the major hazard potential of carbon dioxide (CO2)) calculates that any risk to health from such a failure would be confined within an immediate range of 70m.

The location of the storage is over 350m from the nearest residential building which is not considered to be close proximity.

In normal operation there are no significant emissions of carbon dioxide from the site.

As required for any industrial installation, in co-operation with the Port and the local authorities, Nippon Gases will produce a site specific emergency plan.  Nippon Gases operate similar facilities in the UK and globally and have decades of experience in running such facilities without incident .

In relation to potential customers, the Port’s customer is Nippon Gases. Nippon Gases serve a wide range of customers across the island of Ireland, predominantly in the food and beverage sectors.

Question

  1. Nuclear Waste – last year the question was asked whether the Port will allow nuclear waste into NI which was deflected by the Chair. Can the new Chief Executive respond to this question this year and assure the Port’s publics that the Port will NEVER allow nuclear waste to be brought in through the Port and make this a policy published on your website?

Answer

This was refuted by the Chairman last year. The Port have not been approached or had any discussions ever on nuclear waste – CEO also stated this on media interviews. Again we must state that we have no desire nor intention to deal with nuclear waste. Minutes from the AGM last year confirm this already published on website as will these minutes repeat the Port’s same consistent message on the subject.

Question

  1. Newry Southern Relief Road(SRR) – Why has the Port pushed for the blue route from the beginning of the SRR proposal when the costs and assessments were not determined at such an early stage and still today are yet to be determined? How can the Port base its “Masterplan” on attaining the project build and proceed while the road has not yet been publicly agreed? Why is the UKG funding this road for the Port when you are a profit-making organisation? What environmental assessments have you undertaken to determine and mitigate against air, noise, light and water pollution and the risk to the integrity of the dual carriageway in relation to your “Masterplan”?

Answer

The Blue route was least environmentally impactful and was the most cost effective. The Masterplan is a 25 year forward looking document to give our stakeholders a feel for how the Port could develop – it was aspirational. The road is for benefit of the region not just the Port ,the SRR is not a Port specific project. It will help the Port grow and therefore we support it as we support the growth of the local economy. There is a public consultation on the matter and we would encourage all concerned stakeholders to take part.

Question

  1. Control over Imports/Exports – Given that we import fertilizer from France and animal feed from the east and west, can the Port acknowledge the critical detrimental effect of glyphosate to us as a carcinogen and therefore assure us that any glyphosate-based products will be banned from being imported? We note that France has already banned the use of this pesticide and that we should not be the customer for accepting this toxic chemical as the cost cheapens world-wide.
    Further, how does the Port control (if at all) the import and export of the same products like bottled water? Does the Port ensure that like-for-like products are not imported/exported to adhere to climate change objectives and reduce unnecessary emissions?

Answer

The port supports the economy by facilitating trade. We help bring commodities, which are in demand by consumers and businesses to the island. We would not facilitate import of any banned products. We have no specific knowledge of glyphosate products nor can we influence the demand for bottled water or like for like substitutions. We are merely a link in the supply chain.

 

Please click below for Questions and Answers submitted for Warrenpoint Port’s AGM


AGM QA June 2019

 

Please click below for Planned Port Projects Update

Masterplan-Update-May-2019-

Please click below for Questions and Answers submitted for Warrenpoint Port’s AGM

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority AGM 25th June 2018 Questions & Answers

Please click  on link below for full Consultation Report for Port Masterplan 2018-2043

Please click on link below for Port Masterplan 2018-2043

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