A major £6 million quay upgrade for Montrose Port Authority has now been completed and hopes to attract more energy companies to the area.
The move will enhance the harbour’s capacity for handling larger cargo and oil and gas ships, enabling it to broaden its scope of vessel services.
The upgrade of berths six and seven on the north side of the port has provided deeper water for berthing than before (8 metres depth) with the facility also offering much greater quayside operational working space.
The 260 metre long facility received its first vessel on October 11, the Danish Maersk Lifter, as featured in last week’s Review.
The first cargo ship at the new quay was the German-owned, Antigua and Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship Carolin G on October 13.
According to Montrose Port Authority (MPA) chief executive John Paterson, the refurbished quay forms an important component of the port’s ongoing strategy to meet the needs of a diverse range of modern cargo and oil and gas vessel sectors.
“We are delighted that the upgraded quay is now operational and it provides us with much greater flexibility for vessels visiting the port, offering a fast turnaround when required and greatly enhancing our overall capacity,” he said.
MPA has adopted a strategy of upgrading each berth in sequence in order to minimise disruption and inconvenience to shipping and port users.
“We chose to upgrade the berths sequentially, rather than as a single phase project. It is more expensive for the port doing it this way, but it has meant less disruption for shipping, our tenants and our neighbours in the town,” added Mr Paterson.
It is hoped the upgraded quay will prove attractive to a variety of vessel types, ranging from pulp carriers to oil support vessels. In particular, the quay will play an essential role in servicing the port’s growing business in handling fertiliser and scrap metal cargo vessels.
The upgrade was undertaken by Farrans Construction, who completed a previous deepwater berth project on the south side of the harbour.
Montrose port’s shipping tonnage is up by 20 per cent on the comparable period last year. Annual turnover at the port has increased from £2.5 m to £4.27m over the last three years. The numbers of oil and gas vessels using the port has more than doubled since 2011 and the port is well placed for servicing the offshore renewables sector.
Mr Paterson said: “We are tremendously excited about future growth prospects for the port and we will continue to invest in the infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of shipping as vessels increase in size and demand patterns change.”