UK: First Phase of Aberdeen Harbour Redevelopment Completed
The first phase of a multi-million pound redevelopment project of Aberdeen Harbour’s Torry Quay has been completed.
A project milestone, it was marked by the vessel Skandi Foula, which docked at the quay before loading cargo destined for a North Sea installation.
The vessel is the first to have used the new facilities, which include 300metres of realigned, deep water berths, a stronger quayside for heavier lifts and a wider channel in the River Dee, designed to facilitate improved vessel navigation. These features are the result of an initial £19million investment by Aberdeen Harbour Board.
Ken Reilly, engineering director of Aberdeen Harbour, said: “There is a growing trend for increasingly large, deep drafted vessels. The completion of this first phase, an important stage in one of the harbour’s largest civil engineering undertakings in recent years, is a cornerstone of our ongoing development. With the wharf now fully operational, it will help to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of existing and new users.
“The port plays a vital role in terms of infrastructure, both regionally and nationally. Continued investment is key to ensuring that we are in the best possible position to sustain the provision of the modern facilities that our customers both expect and deserve. This will enable us to bring further opportunities to the North-east, now and in the future.”
Development work on Phase Two has now commenced, with an estimated £15million to be spent on this part of the project.
Expected to take around 12 months to complete, the work comprises the construction of a 100m long, deep-drafted quay, consisting steel piles and reinforced concrete. The River Dee Dock will then be filled with rock and other excavated material, before being surfaced with concrete. This will create an additional 20,000 square metres of operational space.
Mr Reilly added: “Facilities and space are an equally important consideration, allowing for greater efficiency in terms of our customers’ operations. This work will ensure the harbour can continue to meet both the changing demands of the energy industry and our wider client base. Ultimately, this will strengthen our position, improve usability and aid the long-term potential of the port, benefitting the entire region.”
Aberdeen Harbour is one of the UK’s busiest ports and the centre of activity for the energy industry’s marine operations in North-west Europe. With trading links to more than 40 countries across the world, the port is a key regional resource and a vital part of Northern Scotland’s infrastructure.
With a wide range of industry sectors contributing to record annual traffic figures, Aberdeen Harbour handles over 25 million tonnes of shipping and cargo exceeding five million tonnes, worth £1.5 billion. Activity at the port generates over £420 million to the region’s economy each year and helps sustain around 11,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Dredging Today Staff, March 27, 2012; Images: fifthring