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16 October 2009

The Austrian Trade Commission Dublin joined forces with the Limerick Chamber of Commerce and Direct Route (Limerick) Construction Ltd., the consortium responsible for the works on the submerged Limerick Tunnel, to organize the first ever Irish-Austrian Business Networking Event in Limerick on Thursday 15 October, 2009.

Direct Route is a consortium consisting of John Sisk, Lagan, Roadbridge and Austrian construction giant STRABAG. STRABAG, holding 40% of the consortium, is the third largest player in the construction industry in Europe and recorded a turnover of €13.3bn last year. On Thursday, the local business community and Austrian professionals living in Ireland availed of the unique opportunity of viewing the tunnel that carves its way through the bed of the River Shannon and is now during its last phase of construction.

The importance of the project for the mid-west region was reflected by the enormous level of interest generated by the tour – it was oversubscribed by 3:1 even after STRABAG agreed to a second group visit in the morning. The tour was preceded by two presentations by STRABAG representatives. Design manager Herbert Krögler outlined the challenges that were met during the construction of the tunnel, which is considered an engineering feat due to the difficulties arising as a result of the silty deposits that underlie the banks of the Shannon.

Despite STRABAGs high profile in Europe, the company is still relatively unknown to the Irish market. Hence the second talk gave an overview of STRABAGs core business activities and outlined past, present and future projects.

At the evening reception at Limerick’s Clarion Hotel on Steamboat Quay, the visitors then had a chance to get to know each other and share their impressions of the tunnel experience.

STRABAG is keen to develop their presence in Ireland and is currently taking part in the tendering process for other road projects under the Transport21 scheme.

Click here to read more on the Limerick Tunnel [pdf, 211.8kb]