Montrose Port Authority (MPA) has appointed a new chief executive to take over from John Paterson, who steps down after guiding the harbour through a major redevelopment.
The Angus town’s port has been positioning itself as an important North Sea service and cargo handling base in recent times.
The annual tonnage of ships stopping off at the port surpassed the 2million-tonne mark for the first time last year.
The task of continuing the port’s growth and attracting business from rival east coast harbours has been taken on by Nicholas Scott-Gray, former business development manager at Forth Ports.
Mr Paterson described the new MPA chief’s track record as “impressive” and said the appointment will stand the port in good stead for the next stage of its expansion.
In November, Mr Paterson, 67, announced his decision to retire from the role as soon as a successor had been found.
He took up the post at Montrose in 2006, having played a key role in merging two governing port bodies in Peterhead.
In his nine years as MPA chief he oversaw a £6million upgrade of two berths on the north side of the port and other quayside facilities, and an £8.5million refurbishment of the south quay.
Annual turnover at the port increased to £4.27million from £2.5million between 2011 and 2014.
The number of oil and gas vessels using the port more than doubled in the same period.
Mr Paterson added: “We have a superb workforce and the local businesses that rely upon the port have always been tremendously supportive and open to new ideas and innovations.”
Mr Scott-Gray, who has also worked as a port manager at Leith and Grangemouth, said he was delighted to be taking over the MPA at a time when it is “enjoying strong growth” and is “firmly established as an important North Sea shipping and logistics hub”.
He said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing this expansion so as bring further economic benefits to Montrose and the local economy.”
MPA chairman Nick Bradford, said: “Nicholas brings the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure Montrose builds upon its position as one of Scotland’s leading ports.
“I would also like to thank John for his superb leadership in driving the port forward and wish him well for his retirement.”