Dales Marine Services adds two East Coast facilitiesYard News // January 27, 2010
Aberdeen-based ship repair and maintenance specialist Dales Marine Services has expanded its operations on Scotland’s east coast with the lease of a dry dock at the Port of Leith and a workshop at Montrose.
Managing Director, Maurice Nicol, said: “The additional facilities are another major step forward for Dales Marine and will reinforce our current activities and open up significant new opportunities. Over the past five years, we have regenerated the dry dock at Aberdeen and have the skills, experience and, now, the wider resources to build on that success.”
Part of the Dales Group, based in Peterhead, Dales Marine was established there in 1987, moving in 1991 to Aberdeen where it has leased the two acre harbour site and 112m x 21m x 6.5m dry dock since 2004. There are already more than 20 vessels booked for dry docking at Aberdeen in 2010.
Dales Marine is now operating the Imperial dry dock at Leith on an initial 10-year lease from Forth Ports and is to invest around £250,000 in an upgrade and overhaul, including gate seals, hydraulics, pipework, sluices and pumps, with the dock to be available for use by 1 March.
The facility incorporates purpose-built offices and workshop and the 168m x 21.3m x 7.7m dry dock which can take two vessels, such as oil-related safety or supply ships, and deeper draft ships than Aberdeen. Dales has previously used the dock on an occasional basis, with six dockings of offshore industry vessels in 2009.
Mr Nicol explained: “The Port of Leith is helping the business to grow and develop, with the length and depth of Imperial Dock and the availability of plenty lay-by berths meaning that, in addition to our usual range of ships, we will be able to handle larger and longer-term projects. These include naval vessels, with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary a target, and pelagic fishing vessels from Peterhead and Fraserbugh which are currently serviced abroad.”
Offshore industry vessels, ferries, tugs and commercial shipping are also among the potential users of the Imperial Dock where 30-40 jobs could be created in the first year of operation.
Robert Mason, Estates and Security Manager, Forth Ports, said: “We are very pleased to have secured a long-term commitment with Dales Marine to operate within the Port of Leith. This is a good business opportunity for both parties and further strengthens our service offering within the port. It also recognises the capabilities of Port of Leith to support to an even greater degree a range of industries, such as fishing and offshore support craft for the oil, gas and renewable energy markets.”
Dales Marine already uses Montrose Harbour to carry out work afloat on vessels based there and on overspill projects during times when the port of Aberdeen is particularly busy. “Leasing a workshop from Montrose Port Authority for three years from 1 February, with an option to extend, reflects the potential we see to develop there, with the aim of making it a stand-alone business,” explained Mr Nicol.
John Paterson, Chief Executive, Montrose Port Authority, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Dales Marine to a ship repair workshop at a site adjacent to North Quay. Dales Marine already works on ships frequently at our lay-by berths and this facility will improve the convenience to such ships. We are keen at Montrose to expand the ship repair berthing and this development assists this aspiration for MPA, Dales Marine and complementary contractors.”
Dales Marine also undertakes contracts afloat at various ports around the UK and overseas and also makes use of the dry dock at Fraserburgh on an ad hoc basis.