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News / LPA awards contract for Dales Voe expansion

150217 LPA Dales Voe illustration

LERWICK PORT Authority has appointed civil engineers BAM Nuttall as the main contractor for a £12 million investment to lengthen its Dales Voe South quay to 130 metres.

It is a major further expansion of Lerwick Harbour’s deep water facilities targeted at attracting more oil and gas and decommissioning business.

BAM Nuttall is part of Dutch construction group Royal BAM and specialises in complex marine construction. It is said to have a “strong track record” working around Scotland, including in the Northern Isles.

Lerwick has worked with the offshore industry for more than 50 years and is establishing a reputation as a location for decommissioning. The extended quay will provide deep-water, versatile berthing and heavy load capacity to take an offshore structure in a single lift, with a substantial laydown area of 45,000 square metres by 2016.

LPA deputy chief executive and harbor master Calum Grains said: “The contract marks an important step in further developing Lerwick’s role as a leading centre of offshore industry operations.

“Dales Voe South is another value-added expansion and reflects our confidence in future activity, including ongoing subsea projects, particularly west of Shetland, and the developing decommissioning and offshore renewable markets.”

As previously announced, the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are providing £2.39 million-worth of grants for the project, with the Bank of Scotland supporting the LPA’s investment.

Work is due to begin in April and should be completed within a year. At peak, BAM expects up to 40 people will be employed directly in the construction project, and the LPA points to wider benefits spreading to local suppliers and subcontractors.

BAM Nuttall’s business manager in Scotland, Dougie Grant, said: “We’ve been tracking the proposals for Dales Voe for over a year now and we’re delighted to have been chosen by the port authority as their construction partner.

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“We understand the positive impact this scale of investment can have locally and we look forward to engaging proactively with the Shetland community to ensure this benefit is fully realized.”

Civil engineer Arch Henderson LLP is responsible for designing and managing one of the largest infrastructure developments in the LPA’s ongoing programme.

The contract will extend the quay by around 75 metres, giving it a load-bearing capacity of 60 tonnes per square metre – making it “unique” in Scotland. Like the existing quay, it will have 12.5 metres of water depth alongside, among the deepest of its type in Scotland, while the sheltered voe – located between oil basins east and west of Shetland – has easy access to the North Sea.

The LPA recently began construction of a £16.4 million, 800-metre jetty at Holmsgarth North for use by the fishing and oil industries. It also has plans for a new white fish market, with a construction contract due to be awarded next year for a site on the 151-metre Mair’s Quay, completed in 2013 at a cost of £3.17 million.

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