Scottish Government approved project for expansion of Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen HarbourThe Scottish Government approved project for expansion of Aberdeen Harbour. The construction works will begin in spring 2017 and should be completed within three years. The expansion project involves the construction of a new quay with length of 1,400 m and depth of 10.50 m, as well as expansion of warehouse area by 125,000 sq m. According to the estimates the development will generate an additional 1.23 billion USD per annum to the economy by 2035 and will create additional 7,000 equivalent jobs. The total amount of the investment into the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour will cost approximately 430 million USD.

“We are delighted that, after six years of detailed planning and extensive consultation with our many stakeholders and the regulatory authorities, we are now in a position to approve commencement of construction”, said the Director of Aberdeen Harbour Board, Colin Parker.

According to the annual report, in 2015, Aberdeen Harbour handled 4.2 million tons of cargo, which is 5% less than in 2014. According to the analyses of Aberdeen Harbour Board, the reducing turnover is mainly due to deficiency of port capacity.

“Aberdeen Harbour has been in existence for almost 900 years. Its longevity can be attributed to its ability to adapt to changing trading requirements and being forward-thinking in delivering new and improved facilities to support its customers, while at the same time attracting new business”, said Chairman of Aberdeen Harbour Board, Alistair Mackenzie.

The funding arrangements for the project will incorporate commercial borrowing from the European Investment Bank, and funding from the Aberdeen City and Region Deal. Support for the project’s feasibility study was also received Scottish Enterprise and from the 2013 Annual Programme Call of the European Commission’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Programme.

Aberdeen Harbour is one of the largest and oldest UK ports, which annually handles around 8,000 vessels and around 5 million tonnes of cargo. Its contribution to the local economy has been estimated at 1.84 billion USD. With versatile facilities, competitive charges and diversity of traffic, it serves Scotland’s third city and an extensive hinterland.

  1. “According to the annual report, in 2015, Aberdeen Harbour handled 4.2 million tons of cargo, which is 5% less than in 2014. According to the analyses of Aberdeen Harbour Board, the reducing turnover is mainly due to deficiency of port capacity.”

    You need to be more sceptical of statements from Aberdeen Harbour Board. As we approach the last few days of 2016, total arrivals will be very close to 6,470, 13% down of 2015’s total of 7428, which is turn was more than 6% down on the 7,937 arrivals in 2014. Total gross tonnage this year will be 25,673,217, 2 million tonnes or 7% less than 2015, showing that a larger average tonnage in not sufficient to compensate for the significant reduction in arrivals. When the cargo tonnage is revealed it too will reflect this downturn.

    The fact is that the harbour is suffering from a serious downturn in business. There is significant spare capacity in the harbour. Excluding the regular ferries which ply to the Orkney and Shetland Isles, only 11 vessels with a gross tonnage of more than 10,00 tonnes visited the harbour this year. Given that the harbour can accommodate vessels up to 18,000 tonnes, the Harbour Board’s claim that the new harbour extension is required to enable larger ships to dock, seems without any evidential justification.

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