Port shock: cement imports finished
Shock news for Wicklow Port this week is that the cement import trade through the port is definitely finished. It will mean a big fall-off in Harbour Board income and in dockers’ earnings.
The import of foreign cement through Wicklow was originated about 12 months ago by Tom Goode, of Goode Concrete Ltd. It evoked strong opposition from Irish Cement Ltd, who actually lodged a planning objection with Wicklow Urban council against the building of a third and fourth silo at North Quay.
The trade was very welcome at Wicklow and involved an average of three ships per month.
The Harbour Board collected over £600 per ship in respect of dues and cargo rates while local dockers received over £50 per man per boat.
Wicklow Harbour Board chairman, Paddy Smith, expressed his concern and disappointment when contacted during the week.
He said the whole thing had come as a surprise to him and said he had not been contacted by Goode Concrete Ltd and was not officially aware of what was happening.
A newspaper report that the Irish Cement-Roadstone Group was arranging to buy ou tthe Wicklow facility from Goode Concrete Ltd could not be confirmed. However it was confirmed that the silos on the Packet Pier are to remain the property of Tom Goode.
This confirmation came from the Wicklow shipping agents for Goode Concrete Ltd.
Mr Frank Conway of RF Conway & Co waid on Wednesday that he had been instructed by Mr Tom Goode to look for new business for the silos.
Two of the silos are fully operational while another two are partially completed.
Work on the latter was held up as a result of a planning objection from Irish Cement Ltd but it is expected that this objection will be withdrawn now and the additional two silos can be completed.
Mr Conway confirmed on Wednesday that the cement trade is definitely finished at Wicklow but he was optimistic that it would be replace by a grain and feedstuffs import and export trade.
Mr Conway stated: ‘We are involved in negotiations for a new import and export trade in grain and foodstuffs. Keen interest is being shown and we are very optimistic.’