Kishorn dry-dock, a marine industrial fabrication site in north-eastern Scotland last used during the building of the Skye Bridge 25 years ago, looks set to come out of hibernation – after several false dawns – following approval from the Highland Council of its plan for a proposed extension that would clear a way to capitalise on the bonanza of construction contracts expected to coming with the country’s ScotWind offshore wind leasing round.

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Originally built in the mid-1970s to fabricate the Ninian Central oil & gas platform in the North Sea, Kishorn is to have its dry-dock extended to allow the deepwater port to service vessels and structures up to 250 metres – compare to the current 160 metre limitation – for projects ranging from decommissioning, maintenance and upgrade to floating and offshore wind turbine foundations.

“We welcome the approval of this proposal which follows a period of over ten years during which Kishorn Port has invested significantly to bring the dry-dock and wider port area back to life – 2020 saw three significant decommissioning and oil & gas projects use our facilities, and we believe the port will host many more projects in future as a direct result of Scotland’s energy transition,” said Colin Ortlepp, a director at Kishorn Port.

Rock excavated from the dry-dock extension will be used as in-fill for reclamation of an area of foreshore at the site. No timeline has yet been set for the construction work.

Kishorn Port, a joint venture between Scottish outfits Ferguson Transport & Shipping and Leiths was to have fabricated concrete caissons for the 50MW Kincardine floating wind project, before being derailed by supply chain issues faced by developer Cobra, which went on to re-engineer the project around steel floating platforms.