THE PORT of Montrose celebrated another ‘first’ on Thursday, with the docking at the South Quay of ‘Hendrik-S’, carrying a consignment of wind turbine tower sections.
They were constructed at Malmo, in Sweden, and are destined to generate power at Hill of Auquhirie, near Stonehaven. A total of three turbines are involved in shipments, with further components due in the next few days.
These will include more tower sections, ‘small’ parts and, of course, the blades.
The sections so far delivered will remain on the quayside until everything is present, at which point lorries will start to transport them to the Kincardineshire site.
The sections weigh from 32 to 26 tonnes, depending on diameter.
Unloading began on Friday, and the tandem lift illustrated is a highly skilled manoeuvre, with the crane operators having considerable experience in this type of work.
The same precision lift cranes will be used to transfer the sections to the lorries when the move to Auquhirie takes place.
We understand that ground preparation, roadways, etc., at Hill of Auquhirie, is being undertaken by another Angus company, Geddes Group, Swirlburn, Colliston.
The wind turbine transportation is being overseen by shipping agents GP Shipping, Grangemouth.
Port chief executive John Paterson told the Review that Montrose was chosen for the shipment because of the extensive quayside storage facilities, particularly on the new South Quay, which has been designed with heavy lifting pads to accommodate unloading manoeuvres such as those used for the tower sections.
He added that the gross tonnage in the first eight months of the year is up by 77 per cent compared to the corresponding time last year.
Mr Paterson attributes this to a large extent to the new quay, and says it demonstrates the validity of the project.
He is full of confidence for the future of the port, and appears to envisage further expansion.
Increased activity at the port has a knock-on effect in employment and spending in the town, and the area around.