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Scots quarry predicts boost after getting online

A superquarry near Lochaber is expected to receive a business boost after the installation of a satellite system to provide broadband internet. Picture: Reuters

A superquarry near Lochaber is expected to receive a business boost after the installation of a satellite system to provide broadband internet. Picture: Reuters

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

A SCOTTISH superquarry – the largest in Europe – is predicting a boost in business after eventually getting online.

Glensanda produces more than seven million tonnes of aggregate for some of the biggest civil engineering and construction projects in the country.

But being on the south coast of the Morven Peninsula, near Lochaber, it is so remote that it has had to operate with no Internet access or mobile phone coverage.

Now, this massive operation is finally online after satellite broadband provider, Internet Anywhere, made a challenging 15-hour round trip to install a state-of-the-art satellite system at the site.

Glensanda will now be able to record production data, monitor logistics and access vital company information online.

It’s a welcome improvement for the site that operates like a mini city with more than 200 staff, a processing plant, its own landing strip for small aircraft and a fleet of ships that transport granite aggregate to customers around the world.

Paul Bird, project manager at the super-quarry, said that being connected to the Internet would make a difference to productivity.

He said: “We are at the start of a four year contract and we need reliable communications to allow orders to be placed quickly with suppliers.

“In a day, we’ve gone from having no email and no access to our company servers or intranet, to having four lines hard-wired and wireless.

“It’s all working well and the system is surprisingly simple.”

John Fitzgerald, owner of Dundonald-based, Internet Anywhere, said: “This was one of the most hard-to-reach locations that we’ve been to, for sure.

“It’s not accessible by road, so we had a long drive to the port where a special barge took our kit across the water.

“A drive 2000ft up the side of a mountain and a two-hour induction course later, we were ready to set up the system.

“We installed two dishes and within a few hours, out in the middle of nowhere, this site had fast, reliable broadband.”

Set up in 2011, Internet Anywhere provides satellite broadband to remote parts of Scotland, mobile sites and any place where access to the Internet is otherwise unavailable.

 

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