Kishorn Port: Redevelopment masterplan submitted

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A MASTERPLAN to redevelop a former oil fabrication yard in the Highlands – which employed 3,000 in its heyday – has been submitted.

Kishorn Port has submitted their proposals to Highland Council for full planning permission to develop the site as a fabrication and assembly hub for the offshore Energy sector, including offshore wind, wave and tidal devices.

The masterplan follows two years of planning and detailed in-depth studies by various bodies such as Scottish National Heritage, SEPA and Marine Scotland. The process has been supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Following recent consultations in Lochcarron, Kishorn Port Ltd is seeking permission for the project which includes the refurbishment of one of Europe’s largest dry docks, reclamation of the foreshore, upgrading and extending the existing pier structures and the erection of fabrication and warehousing buildings on site.

There are also plans for an accommodation camp on site and a temporary holding area for completed offshore wind turbines in Loch Kishorn.

If the site is re-established as a full manufacturing facility of concrete gravity base structures, it could provide up to 2500 jobs in the future.

Alasdair Ferguson, director of Kishorn Port Ltd, said: “After two years of work, we are happy to see the Kishorn Masterplan reach fruition. We see Kishorn as having significant potential in meeting renewable energy production targets for offshore wind and marine development.

“We are confident that the Kishorn Masterplan and subsequent planning permission is the key to unlock the potential of the Kishorn yard and contribute to the regeneration of the area, creating long term sustainable jobs and supporting significantly the economic growth of the area.”

The Kishorn Port and Dry Dock site is unique with assets such as up to 80m of deep water in the sheltered waters of Loch Kishorn and 150metre-plus in the Raasay Sound, a 150m diameter dry dock and an on-site quarry for aggregates and concrete.

Simon Russell, also a director, said “There has been considerable interest shown by potential concrete gravity foundation manufacturers in the Kishorn Yard, and we look forward to helping them develop the facility. A prototype device could be manufactured within the next 6 months.”

Public consultations proved to be a success with over 130 attendees from the local area, the majority of whom conveyed their support for the Kishorn Port Ltd plans.

The initial Kishorn site was developed in the 1970s by Howard Doris as a manufacturing and fabrication yard for oil platforms.

At its height 3,000 people were working at the yard.

The wet dock in Loch Kishorn has an almost unlimited depth for construction purposes at 80m (262ft).

It is the former construction site of the Ninian Central Platform. At over 600,000 tonnes still one of the world’s largest manmade moveable objects ever.

The Kishorn Port is a 50/50 joint venture between Ferguson Transport (Spean Bridge) Ltd and Leiths (Scotland) Ltd.

Leiths specialises in quarrying, concrete and construction materials while Ferguson Transport is involved with port operations, shipping, stevedoring and transport.