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Huge dredger docks in Peterhead for start of £50million project

The  MP 40 begins dredging work at Peterhead.
The MP 40 begins dredging work at Peterhead.

A £50million project to develop a north-east harbour to boost the town’s economy broke ground yesterday when a huge dredger docked.

Dutch firm Boskalis sailed into Peterhead armed with its MP 40 dredger vessel to begin deepening the north harbour.

Weighing 1,257 tonnes, it is one of the biggest dredgers in the world.

When complete, it is hoped the deepened harbour will encourage new economic ventures in the town and allow for larger boats to berth at the port.

A spokeswoman for Boskalis said the walls of Peterhead Harbour had to be strengthened before the MP 40 could begin work.

“The project includes a new dedicated whitefish landing hub and extensive deepening of the North Harbour, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018,” she added.

Peterhead Dredger

“By increasing market capacity and doubling the depth of water currently available in the north harbour, the development will fully address the dual need for fishing vessel deep-water berthing in the extensive north harbour.”

Yesterday, crowds of locals – including whole families – gathered to watch the work get under way.

Peterhead Port Authority chief executive Ian Laidlaw described the massive vessel as a “super-monster”.

“It’s a milestone to get a dredger and get the project under way,” he added.

“It’s a sight to behold – it’s a massive bit of kit.

“This will be a 24-hour operation, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the noise levels coming from it. There had been concerns that it would cause some disruption but hopefully people can bear with us.”

As part of the project, a new fish market will be created at the harbour to increase the port’s sales space.

Last night, Mr Laidlaw said the scheme was “needed” to allow for more jobs to be created.

Earlier this year, the 62-year-old Queenie Bridge was removed from the harbour to allow for the deepening to begin.

It is expected to be replaced following the work.

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