Limerick company hoping Estuary plans will drive demand

Founders of Croom Concrete Matt and Pauline Costello, with sons Joe and Mike Costello who run the company today.

A LOCAL company is hoping that a rising tide in Limerick’s Shannon Estuary will lift all boats, with plans for a green energy hub in the estuary gathering pace.

Plans for the estuary to become the “digital green powerhouse” of Ireland were announced in July, creating up to 50,000 new jobs for the area by 2050 if plans come to fruition.

Croom Concrete are one such company who are hoping to benefit from these plans by moving into the green energy space.

Founded in 1980 by Matt and Pauline Costello, the company produce a range of precast concrete products, which will be instrumental in developing the green powerhouse in the Shannon Estuary.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, Croom Concrete operations manager Joe Costello said that concrete would play a key role in the development of the Shannon Estuary.

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“We make lots of concrete items that are used on onshore wind farms, when they’re bringing cables from the wind farm back to the substation, they make these concrete boxes called ‘joint bays’, so they’ll all be required for the Shannon Estuary hub.”

“There’ll be other things such as weights for keeping the cables down inside in the sea so the cables don’t float up, so it should be a big sector for us to go into,” Joe explained.

A July report from the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce recommended that a national floating offshore wind development agency be created to bring the proposals to life.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the estuary has the power to revolutionise energy generation in Ireland.

“It is a really visionary piece of work in my view. And what we want to do here in the Shannon Estuary region is to make this the green digital powerhouse for the country.”

The increased reliance on rail transport is another area where Croom Concrete are working on.

“We’re doing a lot of work on the Limerick to Foynes railway, we’re doing a lot of communications work on that, we make concrete boxes that are used for the communications cables,” said Joe.

“We do an awful lot of work in the signalling side of the railway infrastructure, a lot of the railway infrastructure in Ireland is historic so they’re spending an awful amount of money on railways in Ireland and we do an awful lot of rail work.”

Croom Concrete have also worked to reduce their carbon footprint, in line with their move into the green energy space.

“On the energy side of it, we installed solar panels and they came online the start of this year and on typical days, even when the sunshine is not great, we are generating anywhere up to 40 per cent of our energy from solar.”

“Another thing we’re doing with our transport is we have loads that are coming back in from the UK that are bringing back in steel and stuff, so we can reduce our truck movement, so if our truck comes in with a product, it’s going back out with a product, so we’re reducing our truck movements on the roads,” Joe concluded.