By Siobhán Cronin
THE Bantry Bay Oil Storage Terminal – currently operated by Phillips 66 – which accounts for 100% of the commercial traffic through Bantry Bay Port, saw an 11% decrease in oil traffic in 2014.
That’s according to the end of year statement from the Port of Cork Company.
Total traffic through the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company in 2014 reached a total of 10.1m tonnes.
Following the transfer of Bantry Bay Harbour to the Port of Cork Company in January 2014, both ports performed well in the circumstances, with some sectors performing strongly, while others experienced a decline due to a favourable harvest for Irish farmers in the summer and autumn of 2014, when compared to 2013.
Despite strong container business, overall traffic in both ports experienced a drop of 4% in trade on 2013.
This was primarily due to unseasonably fine weather in 2014 which saw a reduction of 22% in both animal feed and cereal imports and generally challenging market conditions which affected overall traffic.
An improvement in financial performance is expected in 2015 over the same period, according to the report.
Oil traffic through the Port of Cork in 2014 experienced a marginal 1.5% decrease on 2013, primarily due to the maintenance shut-down in the Whitegate refinery for six weeks in July and August.
Traffic from the Bantry Bay Oil Storage Terminal saw an 11% decrease in oil traffic in 2014.
Chairman John Mullins said that cruise business continues to grow year-on-year and 53 cruise liners called to Cork in 2014, reflecting the global shift towards new ‘mega ships’ which can carry in excess of 4,000 passengers.
These 53 liners in 2014 brought over 119,000 passengers and crew to the region.
The Port of Cork continues to work closely with cruise lines to increase calls to both Port of Cork and Bantry Bay, he said.
The Port of Cork is committed to seeking out new business opportunities for the port and in particular, the agri-food business will be a key sector which the Port of Cork is keen to develop.
The Port of Cork Schools Initiative’s theme this year is ‘RMS Lusitania – Commemorating 100 Years in 2015’ – an important event in the history of Cork Harbour. All participating 5th classes who take part in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative will be treated to a boat trip around Cork harbour.