A Japanese firm is to build a £9.5m carbon dioxide (CO2) import terminal at Warrenpoint Port.
The gas is widely used in the food and drink industry, mainly for refrigeration.
The new facility, to be developed by Nippon Gases, will store liquid CO2 for industry across the island of Ireland.
Work is due to start this summer, with operations expected to begin in the middle of 2020.
Nippon Gases is part of a major Japanese conglomerate and entered the European industrial market last year when it bought Praxair Gases Europe.
Gerard Dore, the company’s commercial manager, said the new terminal would improve the supply of the gas and reduce emissions from road transport.
“All liquid carbon dioxide is currently imported by industrial gas companies daily into Ireland via road tankers coming across the Irish Sea,” he said.
“With this investment, Nippon are changing the supply chain radically for their Irish customers by importing via ship rather than road tanker.
“It is worth noting that one ship will be the equivalent of 90 road tankers coming across the Irish Sea.
“The carbon footprint reduction is very large.”
Clare Guinness, the chief executive of Warrenpoint Port, said the investment was “a major endorsement”.
“Nippon Gases recognises the benefits provided by our unique position equidistant between Belfast and Dublin that ideally places the harbour to facilitate the distribution of goods across the whole of Ireland,” she said.