The first section of a new £16.5 million jetty for the fishing and offshore industries has been handed over to Lerwick Port Authority by contractor, Tulloch Developments Ltd.
The early completion of the 110-metre section at Holmsgarth North clears the way for the demolition of the nearby former Shell jetty which has more recently been used by fishing vessels for lay-by. Fishing and other vessels will instead be able to use the new section prior to the overall project completion in the autumn.
Holmsgarth North is one of several current developments, totalling around £30 million.
Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson was keen to point out that despite the large scale of the investment that the last year had seen port charges rise by just one per cent. Over the years, Lerwick’s charges have risen in line with inflation, with no additional increases sought to fund developments.
Ms Laurenson said: “We recognise the importance of costs to harbour users, particularly in difficult market conditions, and our aim is to fund investments from our ongoing business model of normal annual inflation.
“By expanding our capacity and ensuring our competitiveness, we are underpinning Lerwick’s advantages as a location supporting the fishing and offshore industries in the surrounding waters of the northern North Sea and Atlantic.”
The Holmsgarth North project and a quay extension at Dales Voe for the offshore industry are both backed by Bank of Scotland funding, with the latter also supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The completed 800-metre-plus, L-shaped Holmsgarth North jetty will provide deeper berthing – ultimately 10 metres – and a greater working area for the fishing fleet, while the outer arm will create a dock sheltering a planned new white fish market.
Deep-water facilities at Dales Voe are being expanded in support of offshore industry subsea developments and decommissioning, with the 12.5-metres deep quay being extended 75-metres to 130-metres. It will have a load-bearing capacity of 60 tonnes per square metre, unmatched in Scotland, and is on course to be completed later this year.