First Minister opens new berth at PeterheadNews // March 23, 2011
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened a new, £30 million deepwater berth at Peterhead Port this week.
The Smith Embankment took 18 months to construct and was built in order to allow Peterhead Port Authority (PPA) – which is responsible for managing and developing the port – to attract new business and target previously untapped markets.
The embankment development, which received a £5.25 million grant from the Scottish Government and European Fisheries Fund, incorporates a 200m long berth, breakwater, dredging and land reclamation works.
The facility will create up to 60 full time job opportunities and it is estimated that the berth will contribute around £12 million to the local economy each year.
Boasting an adjacent working area of 16,000m2 and a water depth of 10m, the embankment has significantly expanded the range of projects that can be completed and handled on site.
For example, the deepwater berth is ideal for the subsea industry as it can accommodate the new generation of larger diving support vessels that are now coming onstream.
Also, the vast adjacent working area provides companies operating within the offshore wind sector with the capacity to assemble or manufacture components for wind and wave devices.
Whilst the facility will play a key role in attracting fresh sectors, it will also provide much needed space and discharging berths for the pelagic fishing industry, which in turn will help cement Peterhead’s position as the UK’s premier fishing port.
PPA recently revealed that it had recorded a 12.5 per cent increase in turnover in 2010 – an achievement that was assisted significantly by the performance of its fish market, with the port setting a new UK record for landings for the fifth consecutive year with a combined fish value throughput of £148.5 million.
The Authority’s turnover for the year hit a record £8.2m illion – its highest ever figure – and an increase of £1million from the £7.2 million set in 2009.
Speaking at the official opening, which was attended by 250 invited guests, First Minister Mr Salmond, said: “This world-class new berth at Peterhead Port will create jobs and secure millions of pounds of investment for the local area.
“Our fishing industry is the lifeblood of Scotland’s coastal communities and the Scottish Government is committed to working with and supporting our fishing communities.
"The new harbour facility is a magnificent addition to the port and will build on Peterhead’s record landings last year and reputation as Europe’s number one fishing port to further strengthen its position in the future.”