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Stornoway Port signs £49m contract for deep water terminal

Stornoway awards £49m Deep Water Port contract
Artist's impression of new Stornoway Deep Water Terminal.

Stornoway Port Authority has awarded the £49 million contract for construction of its new multi-purpose deep water terminal to building and civil engineering firm McLaughlin and Harvey.

Work on the project at the Outer Hebrides’ main port is expected to start in the coming weeks and be completed before the end of next year.

The funding is made up of £11.8 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), £1.8m from Marine Scotland, with the remainder coming from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) and the Stornoway Port Authority.

Backing from Scottish government

The Scottish Government is supporting the project through a “growth accelerator” mechanism, which will release revenue payments to Stornoway Port Authority based on the achievement of a series of outcomes during the life of the project.

The deep water terminal will provide facilities for a variety of sectors, including the energy and transport industries.

As well as being able to accommodate on and offshore wind farm vessels and support other energy sector activity, its main berth will also be suitable for the largest cruise liners.

Development of the terminal will also increase the capabilities and flexibility of the Arnish fabrication yard at Stornoway operated by Harland and Wolff.

The port authority has worked with a multitude of agencies, including the Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), HIE and CnES, during the past four years to advance the project.  The trust port also acknowledged the involvement of land interests, including Crown Estate Scotland and the Stornoway Trust.

“The development of the Stornoway deep water terminal will be a game changer for the local economy and for Scotland’s aspirations to grow our renewables and cruise sectors,” said deputy first minister, John Swinney.

Deputy first minister John Swinney.

“The Scottish Government has long been supportive of this project, which will create jobs and multiple economic benefits for the Hebrides.

“The terminal is a key element of the Islands Growth Deal and will enable cruise traffic and expansion of the offshore renewables supply chain in the wake of the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round, as well as providing infrastructure for a range of other potential activities.”

Stornoway Port Authority chairman Murdo Murray, added the contract signing signalled the imminent start of “an historic project which has the potential to truly transform the economy of the Outer Hebrides.”

Terminal already attracting “high levels of interest”

Mr Murray continued: “The deep water terminal will open a new gateway to the islands for a wide range of sectors and become a catalyst for significant further development here. It is already attracting high levels of interest from potential customers.

“McLaughlin and Harvey are highly experienced in this kind of work and we look forward to working with them on this project.”

McLaughlin and Harvey is based in Belfast and has offices in Scotland and throughout the UK.

Majority funding is coming from CnES with leader Roddie Mackay noting the project has the potential “ to drive new economic activity,” as well as sectoral innovation and the creation of new jobs in Stornoway, Lewis and across the Islands.

“The Comhairle is delighted to have played a critical role in securing the bulk of funding for the development and looks forward to working with the SPA and other local partners to maximise the economic return for our communities,” said Mr Mackay.

New cruise ship opportunities for Stornoway.
Port will now be able to welcome large cruise ships.

For her part, HIE area manager in the Outer Hebrides Joanna Peteranna noted the deep water facility was an “integral part of the Stornoway Port masterplan,” and highlighted the cruise market as a significant aspect.

“However, this investment will also put the port in a strong position to compete for future opportunities in other sectors, including renewable energy fabrication and aquaculture,” she said.

“When all these elements are taken together, we believe this has the potential to be a genuinely transformational project for the islands.”

Initial work to develop the new facility will include piling activity, blasting 827,000 tons of rock and dredging.