A £12m major infrastructure upgrading project in Campbeltown will provide improved road access, berthing and quay facilities for Kintyre’s growing renewables industry.
In recognition of the expansion of Wind Towers (Scotland) Ltd.’s factory at Machrihanish which has the capability to manufacture wind turbines tower sections up to 45 metres long and 6.5 metres in diameter, the Kintyre Renewables Hub was devised three years ago (in consultation with Vestas).
Along with the associated road improvements, the works at the pier are designed to allow easy access for the transportation of component parts between the factory and the harbour.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) the project anticipates the on-going development of both onshore and offshore wind renewables.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Lead Councillor for Energy and Transport John Semple welcomed the progress. He said, “This significant investment in infrastructure means that Kintyre is now well positioned to take advantage of our marine renewable resources of wind, wave and tide well into the future. It sustains our existing manufacturing base at Machrihanish and offers great opportunity for assembly, fabrication, research and development of new renewable technologies.
“I would encourage the renewables industry to visit and see what these enhanced facilities have to offer. The people of Campbeltown have been very patient while all the engineering works have been taking place. I hope that they will enjoy the benefits of increased employment opportunities and prosperity as offshore renewables develop.”
Argyll and Bute Council began working on this project in 2009 in partnership with URS Scott Wilson as its design consultant for the marine works. Subsequently national and local contractors have been engaged including BAM Nuttall, , TAL, Storie (Argyll) Limited and McFadyens Contractors (Campbeltown). Project management of the marine works has been undertaken by Mace.
The scheme involved the redesign of Campbeltown’s former Park Square – now Aqualibrium Avenue – to permit easy access of the long vehicles transporting components to and from the quay. Sections of roadway connecting Campbeltown with the Machrihanish-based company – the A83 and the U59 – had passing places and junctions widened, as well as road alignment alterations.
Overhead wires, including power and telecommunications cables, are being relocated underground to avoid interfering with the large vehicles and their loads.
The main part of the project has focused on Campbeltown’s New Quay where components will be loaded or unloaded from the shipping vessels.
This has involved dredging the harbour an additional five metres to a depth of nine metres at the low tide to allow berthing of larger vessels, as well as allowing for changes in vessel size and shape in the future. The overall project is on target for completion by the end of 2012.