£350m Aberdeen harbour expansion delayed
A £350 million plan to expand Aberdeen harbour into Nigg Bay will be completed a year behind schedule due to “technical challenges”.
Aberdeen Harbour Board said a “new construction schedule” for the South Harbour Expansion Project will see a phased completion in 2021.
Work on what is the largest marine construction project currently under way in the UK was originally estimated to end in August 2020.
Michelle Handforth, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, said: “Construction at South Harbour has progressed significantly in the last 18 months, and despite the impact of several weather events, many elements of the project are ahead of schedule.
“We have now entered the most demanding and complex phase of the works, as we move into deep water construction and, with another winter period approaching, we are encountering technical challenges in the dredging programme associated with the South Breakwater.
“It is unclear currently as to the exact impact these challenges will have on our project schedule, and what impact further winter weather conditions such as sea-states and high tides might have on each element of the project, but we can confirm that we are now working to a phased South Harbour completion programme in 2021.”
When finished, the harbour will allow increased berthing for the oil and gas industry and provide a major boost for cruise ships.
Ms Handforth added: “Aberdeen South Harbour is a visionary project, and one which will serve the region for hundreds of years to come. It is imperative, therefore, that we create a product of the highest quality, safety and durability. Any change in our programme is highly regrettable, but we are keeping our eye on the bigger picture, which is about creating a once-in-a-lifetime economic development opportunity for the region.
“We are still making excellent progress given the complexity of the project, and it is widely appreciated that infrastructure projects of this scale can be susceptible to technical challenges. We will keep working with our contractors and stakeholders to successfully manage these situations as they arise, and together we’ll see this project through to a successful completion.”