Posted on Monday 6 August 2018 by John Mulgrew

City 3 copy

Construction giant Farrans looks set to build the huge £40m 17-storey City Quays 3 building at Belfast Harbour, Ulster Business can reveal.

And it comes as the Harbour has unveiled record results, including a 5.6% surge in operating profits to £34m.

It’s also understood that Belfast-based Farrans is the preferred bidder to build the latest and largest of the City Quays office schemes, which could create 600 construction jobs during its construction.

Darrell McGuckian, Farrans operations director told Ulster Business:

“Farrans are delighted to be working with the Belfast Harbour Commissioners team to deliver the City Quays 3 project as part of their ongoing developments

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Belfast Harbour Commissioners once again and to bringing this wealth of experience and expertise to the fore on City Quays 3.”

The scheme is still awaiting a final green light, as it’s deemed a ‘regionally significant’ project which needs the go-ahead from Stormont.

Meanwhile, Belfast Harbour saw turnover rising by 6.5% to £61.9m during 2017. The growth in turnover and profits was supported by a 3% increase in port cargo handled to a record 23.7 million tonnes.

During the year it invested £42m in new port facilities and regeneration developments, while it says future “capital expenditure plans include an upgrade of the port’s ferry and container handling facilities at a cost of £60m, and further investments in new logistics warehousing units.”.

Work is currently under way on a new 900-space car park, while next year’s results are likely to see a further uplift in revenue, due to the new AC Hotel and films studios on the North Foreshore.

Overall, port operations make up around 80% of overall turnover at Belfast Harbour.

“A key factor in the success of Belfast Harbour is the ongoing growth in port throughput in sectors such as aggregates, steel, animal feeds and grains, roll-on/roll-off freight, ferry passengers and cruise ship visits,” Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s chief executive said.

“The Harbour’s real estate activities also are delivering ongoing growth. As trade in traditional sectors such as coal and refined oil reduce, we will continue to explore new trade opportunities, alongside those in real estate and tradeable services.

“Our ongoing partnerships with Titanic Quarter and Catalyst Inc also continue to yield positive results.

And Belfast Harbour’s chairman, David Dobbin, said: “Belfast Harbour is a key economic driver for our region. Our ‘trust port’ status allows us to reinvest all of our earnings after tax for the benefit of port users and the wider economy.”

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