Buoys manufactured in Arklow gather information that will aid oil exploration and meteorological services.
Commissioned and built for the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association, the data gathered from the buoys will be made available to the World Meteorological Services. The United Kingdom association represents about one third of the oil companies in operation around British and Irish shores.
The huge buoys each weighing twenty tonnes and costing half a million pounds each were trundled out of the Arklow engineering works and launched into the harbour with a champagne ceremony performed by Irish weatherman George Callaghan.
Ken Forsdyke, spokesman for Thorn EMI which installed the electronic data gathering equipment, explains the purpose of the buoys.
The principal purpose is to provide information for the design of offshore oil rigs.
The buoys also supply valuable meteorological data which is of crucial importance to the oil operators. The data that they capture from the ocean is a well kept secret as the UK Operators Association do not want other oil companies gaining access to this valuable information.
According to James Tyrell, Director of Arklow Engineering Works, the project has provided six months work for around thirty people employed at Arklow Engineering. He is also hopeful of further orders.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 March 1984. The reporter is Reg Cullen.