By BRIAN MOORE
THERE has been a warm welcome in Bantry this week for the news that Zenith Energy is to take control of the Whiddy Island oil terminal.
Zenith, a US liquid and bulk storage company, has acquired the facility from Phillips 66, in a deal that will mean up to five new jobs being created in the short-term.
Bantry Bay Terminal manager Barry O’Driscoll said the deal was a good one for Whiddy.
‘We are excited to join Zenith and to be among its first significant terminal investments. Our facility has a long history of success in Europe and we look forward to building upon it in the years to come,’ Mr O’Driscoll told The Southern Star.
The terminal currently employes 29 full-time staff and up to 100 contractors and Mr O’Driscoll confirmed this week that up to five new jobs will be created over the coming months.
‘We are delighted to be part of the local community in Bantry,’ added Lisa Babajko, Zenith’s director of human resources. ‘Bantry Bay Terminal is a significant acquisition and we look forward to growing the business in line with our strategic objectives. We have plans to grow.’ Zenith CEO Jeffrey R Armstrong said the facility would remain ‘an important part of Ireland’s strategic petroleum reserve’.
‘The terminal’s attractive deepwater location on Bantry Bay enables our customers to take advantage of many trade opportunities,’ he added.
‘This is good news for Bantry and the surrounding area. Traffic to and from the terminal has increased and with the work about to start on the pier, and the harbour area, this is a very positive development,’ said FG Cllr Mary Hegarty.
Whiddy Island ferry operator Tim O’Leary also welcomed the announcement. ‘There are a lot of local people employed on the island and in the terminal, and it is good to see that a new company intends to invest and develop the business here.’