The resilience and adaptability of Scotland’s ports, both small and large, has been tested over the past year. Scrabster Harbour Trust continues to look to a brighter future as its latest infrastructure development progresses.
Established in 1841, in recent decades the Caithness port has diversified to support a wide range of industries and marine sectors, from ferries and fishing through to oil and gas, renewables and cruise.
This diversification strategy has been underpinned by a forward thinking and ambitious infrastructure redevelopment programme.
Since 2011, over £40 million has been invested in infrastructure at the northern port.
The latest project, a £19 million redevelopment of the existing St Ola Pier, represents a further significant milestone in the delivery of the Trust’s development plans.
Investing for the future
In 2008, Scrabster Harbour Trust set out a plan and vision for further development of the port.
The plan aimed to capitalise on the port’s strategic location for a number of marine sectors by providing modern multi-user port facilities.
A £17.6 million project to redevelop an existing pier to create the deep-water Jubilee Quay was completed in 2013.
It was quickly followed by the acquisition of a new harbour workboat in 2014.
Then, a new Ice Plant was installed in 2017 to maintain Scrabster as a key whitefish landing port and fisheries centre.
Currently, a project to develop the St Ola Pier is well underway – work started in June 2020 and it is scheduled to be completed later this year, by October 2021.
This project will improve the pier structure to offer a total of 500 metres of deep-water berthing, with vessels of up to 250 metres length able to berth.
The pier offers a depth of 9 metres at chart datum on the outer berth and 7.5 metres on the inner berths.
Once completed, the finished project will provide over 9,000 m2 of quayside space including a dedicated heavy lift area.
Looking to the future
The Ola project represents a vote of confidence that the port and Caithness area can play a significant role in future offshore and subsea developments.
The development complements and adds to the port’s capacity to retain and grow its current activity, and the Harbour Trust is enthused by the potential for new business.
“This development, together with previous investment, means Scrabster and Caithness is better positioned to capitalise on future opportunities,” says trust manager Sandy Mackie.
“For example, there are significant renewable energy opportunities off our coast.
“As well as supporting the installation phase, we aspire to establish Scrabster as an operations and maintenance (O&M base) with significant new employment”.
You can find out more about the Scrabster Harbour redevelopment and its current offerings online here.