Aberdeen Harbour expansion to be completed by October 2022

Published by Scott Challinor on July 21st 2021, 11:11am

A £350 million expansion of Aberdeen Harbour is now set to be completed by October 2022 following several months of setbacks, the BBC reports.

The expansion, which is the largest marine infrastructure project in the UK, will make Aberdeen Harbour both deeper and larger, providing new space for cruise ships and renewable energy initiatives.

The completion date for the project has been pushed back by the Covid-19 pandemic and the chief contractor withdrawing from the scheme.

The Aberdeen Harbour Board had first warned of the delay back in July 2020, after contractor Dragados had pulled out a month earlier by mutual consent because of factors relating to the pandemic.

The harbour board’s chief executive Michelle Handforth said at the time: “We were very disappointed that we were in a position where we reached mutual agreement with Dragados that they would leave the project.

“For them as a global construction company, the impact of Covid-19 financially and on the shutdown of construction activities obviously put them in to a situation where they felt they would not be able to complete the work. So obviously we went through a process of discussion with them, and we have arranged for them to leave the project. The good news attached to that is we only have 30 per cent of the project left to build.

“But we're still confident and we're on track for delivery of what we've called phased opening. Due to the size of the new port, we will be able to bring some of our facilities online next year into 2021 and we're aiming for full opening in 2022.”

Yet, if no additional support is forthcoming, the harbour board has warned that the “green infrastructure” part of the expansion could be in jeopardy, which include quayside electrification and feasibility studies into the use of clean fuels.

Aberdeen Harbour Board’s Luigi Napolitano commented: “I think it [the expansion] is an amazing project for Aberdeen and the north-east. We will be able to further build on the skills here in Aberdeen developed over 50 years in oil and gas.

“It brings a world-class facility that will enable us to really drive the energy transition and be able to bring those opportunities to the north-east of Scotland.”

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Scott Challinor
Business Editor
July 21st 2021, 11:11am

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