Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has awarded a contract to engineering firm Mott MacDonald to support the detailed design of pier infrastructure upgrade works.
The £1.5 million contract, which has been awarded following a public sector procurement process, covers design consultancy services for vessel enabling works at Port Ellen and Port Askaig in Islay, Kennacraig and Colonsay.
Mott MacDonald, working closely with CMAL’s in-house harbours engineers and project managers, will secure and manage the required planning consents and licences, support stakeholder and community engagement, conduct and commission site surveys and investigations, create detailed design of works required at all four sites, and help prepare tender documents to appoint construction contractors.
The design and planning stage is expected to last around a year, with construction estimated to begin in 2023.
Nasir Uddin, senior civil engineer at CMAL, said:
“A shipyard will be appointed next year to build the two new vessels for Islay and Jura and, in preparation for their arrival, we have identified that the ports where they will operate will benefit from investment to upgrade infrastructure and facilities. The exact details of what’s required at each port will be clear once we have conducted various surveys, working with the team at Mott MacDonald.
“Our work will include comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement to ensure ferry passenger and other harbour users’ needs are reflected in our proposals.”
The vessel enabling works project is one of three CMAL projects planned for Port Ellen. The other two projects will deliver improvements to traffic management arrangements, scheduled to get underway in 2022, and increase space with a bigger vehicle marshalling area, new terminal building and improvements to passenger access to and from vessels. All three projects are the result of significant planning and feasibility studies by CMAL, working in partnership with Transport Scotland and CalMac, as well as local stakeholders.
CMAL has a significant plan of vessel and harbour investment underway, backed by a £580 million commitment from the Scottish Government for an initial five-year period from 2021 to 2026. Plans will deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next 10 years. Further multi-million-pound investment will be needed to fund plans from 2026 onwards.