Harbour deepening nears completion

Harbour deepening.
Harbour deepening.

The deepening of Fraserburgh’s North Harbour Basin, which began in November 2012, is now entering its final stages.

Having overcome a number of unexpected issues, the major project is due to be complete in the late summer or early autumn of this year.

Contractors McLaughlin and Harvey have carried out additional structural work due to a number of voids being discovered in the structures of the Middle Jetty and North Pier at the west legs, resulting in a later completion date for the project.

Once completed, the project will see the 600m of quays within the North harbour refaced and will provide approximately 400 metres of deepwater berthing within the new basin which, following dredging, will give a depth of -4.7m at chart datum.

In addition, the newly constructed 70m quay at Blacksands, which will comprise of an open pile construction over a rock spending beach, will provide an additional work area for vessels wishing to carry out essential repairs on nets.

This will allow berthing within the port to be reconfigured, freeing up berths within the Inner Balaclava basin adjacent to the modern dry dock.

These newly vacated berths could provide service or maintenance moorings for the increasing number of offshore vessels using the dry dock for varying levels of refit and maintenance work and which often require a berth either pre- or post-docking. Local engineering companies and service contractors are also benefiting from the increase in this type of business.

Fraserburgh Harbour hopes the significant expansion in revenue stream from this sector will continue and, following the announcement last month that consent has been granted to EDPR for wind farm developments in the Moray Firth, it is also hoped that new business will also be attracted from the emerging offshore renewable sector.

The North Harbour deepening project, part funded by EFF and Marine Scotland, is the latest in a succession of projects which have been developed by the Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners. The projects, brought to fruition over the 20 years, have a collective value in today’s terms of over £60m.

Commenting, Fraserburgh Harbourmaster Andrew Ironside said: “The Harbour Commissioners are extremely grateful for the continued support of Marine Scotland in this project, which is viewed as being essential in maintaining the port’s development in line with new revenue streams.”

Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners continue to identify areas for potential growth and as they investigate alternative ways to strengthen their support of the fishing industry, there are a number of initiatives in the pipeline.