Scrabster Harbour is set to maintain its position among the UK’s top fish landing ports following investment from the Scottish government and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in a new ice plant, reports David Linkie.

Above: Scrabster harbour – where UK vessels landed catches worth £32.3m in 2016 – will benefit from a new quayside ice plant. Scheduled to start production this summer, the new facility will be situated on the quay at the top left-hand corner of the photograph near the quayside fuel point.

£685,000 of funding has been awarded to purchase and install a new £1.1m quayside ice plant at the harbour. £542,000 of the funding has come from EMFF via the Scottish government and a further £143,000 from the NDA.

Retiring NDA chairman Stephen Henwood pays Scrabster Harbour a last visit.

The new quayside facility, which will be able to produce 30t of ice per day and have a storage capacity of 60t, will produce plate ice of a quality required by modern fisheries and will be available on a self-service basis at any time of the day or night to deliver pristine quality catches.

Norwegian company, FrioNordica has been awarded the contract for the supply and installation of the ice plant. Local companies Alan Gow Groundworks and G Anderson Electrical Ltd will undertake the associated civil and electrical works.

Stephen Henwood, outgoing chair of NDA recently visited the port and said: “Scrabster is a great success story and the type of organisation we are pleased to have supported over the years.

They lead development from the front and ours is merely a supporting role. In 2013-2014 we joined Scottish government in funding the Jubilee Pier and that new facility has brought in boats from the oil and gas industry that couldn’t have visited Scrabster before because until the extensive facility was built there wasn’t suitable berthing.”

The new plant will replace the existing ice plant at Scrabster, which was shut down in December 2016 having been in situ for over 30 years. The new plant will be available from summer 2017 onwards and is designed to be more energy efficient and reliable, and produces ice in plate form, more suited to modern fisheries.

Scrabster ice plant

Changing times at Scrabster, as the new Boy Andrew passes the harbour’s previous ice factory that shut down in December 2016 and will be replaced by a state-of-the-art quayside facility.


In order to maintain a steady supply of ice to skippers and local fish processors, Scrabster Harbour Trust has set up an alternative temporary ice supply. The NDA has provided additional funding of £39,000 to support the interim solution. Flake ice will be made in a temporary ice plant then stored in an existing chilling area at the harbour until being transported to the vessels by forklift.

The interim solution will ensure that boats currently landing and taking on ice at Scrabster do not move elsewhere, and ensures continuity of business and employment for those local businesses and individuals whose livelihoods depend on landings at the port.

Sandy Mackie, port manager at Scrabster, commented: “We are grateful to Scottish government and the NDA for their assistance in ensuring Scrabster continues to be an important fisheries centre. This investment reflects the funders and the Trust’s commitment to ensuring fit-for-purpose facilities continue to be available allowing the retention of valuable business and jobs”.

Per Samuelsen of FrioNordica said: “Our company has extensive experience in developing cost-effective cooling solutions for the fishing, fish processing and aquaculture industry. We are delighted to be awarded the contract for the new facility at Scrabster and look forward to working with the Trust to deliver a successful project.”

Provisional figures released by the MMO last month showed Scrabster to be the fourth-placed UK port in terms of annual catch value of landings by UK vessels in 2016, with £32.3m from 19,988t. Of this total, demersal species contributed £27.4m (13,356t) and shellfish £5m (2,629t). Hake (£8.5m/2,799t), monkfish (6.4m/2,323t) haddock (4.8m/3,420t) and crabs (£3.3m/2,013t) were the four main species landed at Scrabster in 2016.

For more information, contact Sandy Mackie, Trust Manager, Scrabster Harbour Trust on: 01847 892779 or email:


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!