The funding will enable the redevelopment of the existing St. Ola pier to create further deep-water infrastructure and meet anticipated demand from cruise ships and offshore energy supply vessels. It will place the port in an ideal position to service activity in the West of Shetland basin.
A new piled quay wall and pier deck will be installed to expand the existing pier. Both the inner and outer side of the pier will be dredged to create water depth of no less than 9m. And a reclamation area with revetment at the root of the pier will provide storage for cargo handling.
Cruise ships of up to 250 metres and supply vessels up to 170 metres will be able to use the upgraded pier.
On completion the £17m project is expected to increase vessel tonnage and port revenues by 18% and support an additional 28 jobs.
It forms the second part of a wider harbour master plan of phased development by Scrabster Harbour Trust (SHT). Phase one saw the £17.6m redevelopment of the old fish market pier to create a modern multi-purpose quay facility renamed the Jubilee Quay, which opened in 2013.
Confirming the HIE funding, Eann Sinclair area manager for Caithness and Sutherland, said:
“We are very pleased to be able to support this extremely valuable project. Improving infrastructure in this way helps bring more new business to Caithness and Sutherland and to support local industries. It will also help attract and retain high quality engineering and labour skills in the area.”
Sandy Mackie, Scrabster Harbour Trust manager, said:
“The HIE award is tremendous news for the port and the area, marking another important milestone in our efforts to deliver the St Ola project. The procurement process to select a contractor for the works is underway. The current project programme targets the construction works beginning early in 2020.”
The St. Ola Pier redevelopment is considered a priority by the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP), which was established in 2008 to address the economic impacts of Dounreay decommissioning.
Iain Ross, chair of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP), said:
“The CNSRP is delighted to support the St Ola Pier project, one of the CNSRP’s priority projects. The significant direct investments from two CNSRP partners – Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the NDA - show the benefits of a partnership approach and have been critical in ensuring that it is able to proceed, bringing significant benefits to the region.”