- Submission made to Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce on proposal
- Potential already there with existing infrastructure
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Aviation Cathal Crowe is calling for strong consideration to be given to his proposal to establish a hydrogen fuel farm within the Shannon Airport complex.
This would see the airport establish itself as a world leader in terms of sustainable aviation, at a time of significant change in the sector.
“Today, I have written to the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce, outlining my proposal to plan for a hydrogen fuel farm at Shannon Airport,” said Deputy Crowe.
“The Green Atlantic Windfarm planned off of the coast of Clare provides for a €50 million Synchronous Compensator, which will convert electricity generated via the wind turbine infrastructure to storable hydrogen fuel. All of this will happen on site at Moneypoint, just 65km west of Shannon Airport.
“Meanwhile, a fuel farm was developed at Shannon Airport in the 1973s and has the capacity to store 33,000 metric tonnes of aviation fuel.
“It would make perfect sense for the hydrogen generated at Moneypoint to be brought up the estuary to the large storage vats at Shannon Airport for usage by an array of aircraft companies and airliners.
“Right now, the large aircraft manufacturers of the world, including Boeing and Airbus, are at advanced stages of trialling hydrogen powered jet engines, which have the potential to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
“Whilst we’re still a number of years away from a widescale conversion of aircraft to this new fuel, most with knowledge of the sector believe it to be inevitable and the next decade will be defining in this regard.
“Shannon Airport, therefore, has a unique opportunity to position itself as a world centre of excellence insofar as sustainable aviation is concerned.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Shannon and I hope that the taskforce’s strategy will position Shannon ahead of other airports and regions of Europe, in terms of being able to harness the potential of hydrogen.
“When global aviation makes the initial conversion to hydrogen fuels, it is expected that long-distance capacity of the aircraft will, at first, be in some way reduced meaning longhaul flights such as transatlantic routes will need to touch down to refuel.
“As Europe’s most westerly airport, it makes so much sense that Shannon would be the stop-off point for aircraft going both eastbound and westbound.
“In the past, great people in the Midwest like the late Brendan O’Regan had visions for Shannon far beyond putting planes in the sky.
“As we emerge from the Covid pandemic and strive to put Shannon back on an upward trajectory of growth, it’s important that this kind of vision once again comes to the fore.
“I hope that my submission can be given consideration by the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce and I stand ready to help out in any way I can.”