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UCC Beaufort Topping OutMinister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White T. D. recently performed the “Topping Out” ceremony at UCC Beaufort Maritime and Energy Research Laboratory Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.

The building, which is set to house the largest dedicated team of marine researchers globally, is on track to open in July 2015. Minister White said that Ireland had the potential to become the focal point of the international marine renewable industry, pointing out that the marine renewable energy sector could be worth €9 billion by 2030 and support significant job creation in Ireland.

JJ Rhatigan & Company has been appointed as the main contractor for the construction and fit out of the UCC Beaufort Maritime and Energy Research Laboratory Building.  The works include a single storey high volume marine testing hall having 4 separate water test tanks, associated workshops and plant room, together with adjoining five storey research support office accommodation, meeting rooms, administration, canteen and reception area including the fit-out of offices. The fit-out of the test hall, consisting of high level gantry crane and mobile access platforms, will also form part of the works.

More than 200 jobs have been created in the construction of the UCC Beaufort building, which will employ 135 full time researchers when fully operational. The SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) will be housed in the Beaufort Building, and will act as a catalyst to Ireland establishing a safe, sustainable and profitable marine energy supply for domestic and international markets through its collaborative and integrated approach with academia and industry.

Pictured from left to right: James Godley, JJ Rhatigan & Company, Ger Ronayne, JJ Rhatigan & Company, Alex White T. D. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, UCC Beaufort Director/Director of MaREI , Francis Mulry, JJ Rhatigan & Company and Tony Murphy, JJ Rhatigan & Company.