The latest phase of development at Scrabster harbour was officially opened and dedicated on 10 December.

Lord Lieutenant of Caithness John Thurso cut the ribbon on the £18.9m redeveloped St Ola Pier in front of invited guests including port users and stakeholders.

The project is Scrabster Harbour Trust’s latest major development at the Caithness port – the most northerly mainland port in the UK – with £38.7m being invested over the past decade.

The project involved the redevelopment of an existing pier. The redeveloped pier structure offers a total of 500m of deep- water berthing, with a new outer berthing face capable of accommodating vessels up to 250m in length. The quay offers a water depth of 9m at chart datum on the outer berth and 7.5m on the inner berths. The total deck area extends to 9,000m2 including a dedicated heavy-lift area.

The construction works contractor was RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd, with RPS Ireland Ltd providing the project management services. Highland and Island Enterprise (HIE) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority provided grant assistance.

Trust board chairman Tom Pottinger said: “The works have been constructed against a challenging environment during the pandemic. Completion has been achieved on time and under budget, which is a feather in the cap of all parties involved.” Eann Sinclair, HIE area manager for Caithness and Sutherland, said: “Our approval of up to £3m for the St Ola pier project represented our single biggest investment in Caithness and Sutherland for several years. This reflects the importance we attach to the development of infrastructure that supports future economic opportunities and job creation for the north.”

Scrabster is the landings port for local whitefish vessels Boy Andrew and Reaper and local under-10m shellfish boats, as well as for Orkney’s three whitefish vessels, with £27.4m-worth of landings to the port in 2020 (down 29% on the previous year, due largely to Covid).

It is also a key landings port for a number of Scottish whitefish vessels working grounds to the north and northwest of Scotland, which land there and consign their catches for sale at Peterhead, or to Larkhall for export, as well as for many foreign-owned vessels.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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