Port authority predicts an exciting year ahead
Lerwick Harbour is set for another busy year thanks to the four main industry sectors operating at the port – oil and gas, ferries and freight, fishing, and marine tourism from cruise ships and yachts.
According to its newly-published plan, the port is continuing to invest in infrastructure to meet users’ future requirements, making 2013 an “exciting year”.
Lerwick Port Authority’s projects the next few years, featured in its newly-published Strategy and Business Plan 2013, include the development of a deep-water quay at Dales Voe for decommissioning which, if constructed, would be the largest single investment in infrastructure yet at Lerwick.
Another project is the land reclamation and new quay at Mair’s Yard, to be completed this summer, which will providing the location for a replacement white fishmarket. This will be built next year.
Following a new, deep-water berth at Greenhead Base becoming operational ahead of schedule last year to support a major subsea project, a 75-metre extension is due for completion this autumn.
Local firm Tulloch Developments has been involved in the work at Greenhead Base and Mair’s Yard.
Future quay projects all require either demolition or disruption at existing berths. This will necessitate new berthing, resulting in a planned development at Point of Scatland as a precursor to re-development of Gremista Quay and Holmsgarth north jetty.
In addition LPA continues to see demand increase for its land estate. With developed industrial estates all fully let, it is pursuing creation of more sites, including near Rova Head.
The plan also identifies a number of future projects, including more deep-water berths, expanded lay-down, roll-on/roll-off infrastructure improvements and assessing support for onshore and offshore renewable energy projects.
LPA chairman Harry Jamieson said: “The harbour is set up well for the future…and has seen a period of growth in overall terms.
“Forecasts for offshore oil and gas projects being supported from Lerwick over the next three years are very encouraging and the authority’s endeavours to keep pace with the size of ships now operating in this sector has paid dividends, with deep-water quays continuing to be provided on the back of a huge dredging project in 2008.
“A significant list of new capital projects continues to be delivered by the authority, at the same time as costs and staff numbers are kept steady at a sustainable level.”
The plan continues the authority’s commitment to maintain the port as an economic hub for Shetland, building on a successful year in 2012. The many projects now on the drawing board are all intended to provide the infrastructure necessary to allow the industries using the port to flourish. The challenge now is to prioritise these in an affordable manner.
The scope of the plan includes aspects of health and safety, conservancy, investment in companies providing harbour traffic and operational income, repair maintenance, community engagement and stakeholder benefits, marketing and management and personnel.
As a trust port, all profits are re-invested in the harbour, with over £74 million going into port assets since the 1960s.
The plan can be viewed online.