Building On Recovery 2016-2021 – Ireland's Infrastructure Plan

Author:Mr Aaron Boyle, Garrett Monaghan and Alex McLean
Profession:Arthur Cox

On 29 September 2015 the Government announced its capital spending plan, entitled Building for Recovery 2016 - 2021 (the "Plan"). The Plan is worth an estimated €27 billion in direct investment by the Exchequer over 6 years. This amounts to an average of €4.5 billion per year and is expected to create in the region of 45,000 jobs during the construction phase. Along with direct investment, the Plan includes a third phase of PPP investments of about €500 million and State-owned sector investment of around €14.5 billion. The Plan is said to represent over 3.5% of GNP each year over its duration. According to the Plan, the €14.5 billion non-Exchequer component will be delivered by State companies, which include ESB, Irish Water, and Ervia (formerly Bord Gáis Éireann). These investments will primarily be targeted at energy infrastructure development including renewable energy and smart metering and on the enhancement of water and wastewater infrastructure. The key sectors set to benefit are as follows:

Transport: The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is to receive the largest slice of the package, with approximately10 billion allocated to it. Metro North: The biggest single project in the Plan is the rapid transit system from Dublin city centre to Dublin Airport and Swords. The project will cost an estimated2.4 billion. Construction of the project is expected to commence in 2021 with a view to delivery by 2026/27. Almost 8.5km of the route (through Dublin to Dublin Airport and to the commuter town of Swords) will be tunnelled with 8 overland and 6 underground stops. The Plan is silent in relation to the method of financing this project. DART Expansion programme: A multi-phase DART expansion programme will begin with the extension of the DART line to Balbriggan. The design and planning for the further phases, which include expansion of DART services to Maynooth in the west and Hazelhatch in the southwest, will also be progressed. DART Underground PPP Project: This project has returned to feasibility stage, looking at a more cost effective solution. Roads: The roads programme will total6 billion over seven years.4.4 billion of the programme will be devoted to essential maintenance and strengthening works on the existing network, with a further600m allocated to on-going development of the PPP roads pipeline.860m will be targeted at progressing new priority roads projects. Public Transport:2.6 billion is to be invested in essential...

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