Angus port embarks on latest berth upgrade

Montrose Port Authority chief executive Nik Scott-Gray
Montrose Port Authority chief executive Nik Scott-Gray

Montrose Port has embarked on the latest stage of its multi-million-pound berth redevelopment programme.

The Angus port has spent more than £22 million on upgrading its infrastructure since 2010.

The latest phase of work has focused on strengthening berth seven and eight at a cost of £7.2m.

Montrose Port Authority chief executive Nik Scott-Gray said: “Berth eight was completed last week and the work on berth seven has begun.

“It’s a lot of work on pilings, improving the dock’s strength and the depth alongside.

“We are currently on time and on budget with the work, which should be completed by the end of October.

“Five minutes after berth eight was finished, we had a vessel alongside.”

Montrose Port Authority has been supported by a £1.5m Scottish Government grant and took out a £5.4m loan from Royal Bank of Scotland last year.

“We have a 25 year masterplan and within that there are other berth developments as part of that,” Mr Scott-Gray added.

“We have the confidence in the port’s future to make these investments.

“After this current round of work is complete we will catch our breath before we charge on and do another big capital project.”

Meanwhile, Montrose Port Authority will make an investment in expanding the port premises used by Wild Well.

Mr Scott-Gray said there was a large increase in gross tonnes of vessel activity through the port last year – passing three million tonnes for the first time.

He said much of the increase from 2.3 million tonnes the previous year was due to the upturn in the oil and gas sector.

“We’ve seen a really big uplift in offshore vessels,” he said.

“Up to the end of February (a month before year end), we’d handled 381 offshore vessels and we handled 305 in the previous year in total.

“In the downturn in that sector we did try to help a lot of vessel operators and a lot of customers who were clearly finding it tough and hopefully that flexibility we showed two or three years ago is now paying dividends.

“From talking to our oil and gas customers, we anticipate another good six months.

“It looks like we’ll be busy all the way through the summer, which will be great news.”

The port boss said he was also hopeful of picking up more renewables and was hopeful to take advantage of some decommissioning opportunities.

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