Hatston Pier in Kirkwall, Orkney, is being extended to enable the port to cope with the large increase in marine renewables related activity.
The £8 million project, which is being led by Orkney Island Council, began in October 2011 and is due to be completed in January 2013.
Project Supervisor at Orkney Island Council,John Orr, told Premier Construction about the project. He said:
“The existing pier was built primarily as a Ro-Ro terminal about 10 years ago to service the Aberdeen-Orkney-Shetland ferry route.
“The project, which is being progressed primarily on the basis of the expected uplift in the marine renewables market, was awarded 40% funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The main contractor for the project is theNorthern Irelandconstruction company McLaughlin and Harvey.
“The main extension is 160 metres long and adjoins the existing pier which is an ‘L’ shape. This extension is at the top end of the pier and will result when complete in a ‘T’ shape structure.
“The pier extension follows the basic form of construction of the existing pier i.e. tubular piles and reinforced concrete deck. The extension is slightly different in that the concrete deck incorporates pre-cast beams and slabs together with the final in-situ concrete deck. Although further ground investigations were undertaken, these were not so extensive as we had a good grasp of this area from the earlier site investigation work and pile records.
“The project had a slow start initially as, with the existing pier still operational, this inevitably led to construction constraints. Orkney Islands Council is eager to see the benefits of the project which will greatly help local industries and the community in general and has therefore permitted nightshift working to see a return to programme.
“There is no doubt that Orkney is a central hub for marine renewables research and development worldwide, with more wave and tidal devices tested in the waters around our islands than in the rest of the world put together.
“There has been a lot of ongoing work and improvement and we are now moving ever closer into the commercial phase of marine renewable generation which could really involve major change for Orkney. The council has seen this additional activity and decided to respond to the challenges by improving its infrastructure to meet the needs of this rapidly evolving industry.
“We have what we call our three port strategy as far as pier and harbour improvements are concerned. Firstly we’ve upgraded the old naval base at Lyness on Hoy, secondly we are developing the Hatston project and the third is a brand new pier in Stromness. We are pitching all of these towards the increased demand in the renewables industry.”
John said that Orkney Islands Council has been very proactive up to now in regards to upgrading their infrastructure, and they will continue to look out for improvements that could be made and respond to any future demands.
“With respect to the Hatston Pier Extension Project, this is a complete upgrade of the facilities. The old Kirkwall Pier, at the lowest state of the tide, had water depth of 5.5 metres, which would simply not be enough for the type of vessel we can now expect.
“With the new extension, at lowest state of the tide, the water depth we have is 10 metres. A lot of the vessels serving the renewables industry that carry turbines and large equipment have draft of 7 or 8 metres.
“The other thing to be said is that Orkney has a large number of visiting cruise liners. We usually have 70 or 80 big cruise liners per year, mostly coming in toKirkwall. Now the total length of outside deepwater berth will be 385 metres, so the pier can take the biggest of the cruise liners. We’re looking forward to the official opening next year.”
Streamline Shipping Group Limited
Established in 1981, Streamline Shipping Group Limited is a transport company which specialises in
operating services to and from Orkney and Shetland. They have a proven track record in assisting
construction companies to transport their material to site in Orkney and Shetland.
Streamline Shipping Group operate their own vessel ex Aberdeen to both Orkney and Shetland and along with their trailer services on the RO-RO vessel, can offer reliable just in time delivery of material to site.
They specialise in working directly with contractor’s suppliers to ensure material is available
to ship in time for due date on site, allowing the contractor to get on with the business of constructing their project.
Hazel McMullan from Streamline Shipping Group said:
“We were delighted to work with McLaughlin & Harvey on their Hatston Pier Extension Project, moving everything from their large cranes and plant to their building materials, and also providing stevedoring and discharging of their direct vessel containing their piling.
“We are committed to working in partnership with our customers. We believe that by investing time and working closely with each other we can create professional , rewarding and long lasting relationships.”