Kishorn Port Ltd (KPL) in partnership with the Oil & Gas Authority (O&GA) and Highland and Island Enterprise (HIE) hosted a Showcase Day at Kishorn yesterday (19.09.18). Despite the unpredictable Highland weather the event was well attended by stakeholders from the oil and gas industry. 

Over 90 senior representatives from the oil and gas supply chain, the Regulators and the local community were given an insight into the redevelopment of the Kishorn Yard and drydock by the Directors of KPL, Simon Russell and Alasdair Ferguson, with Bill Cattanach OBE, Head of Supply Chain at the OGA, chairing the proceedings.

Attendees were interested in the capability of the Kishorn facility to support a wide range of potential projects including decommissioning, the extension of life of North Sea assets, the manufacture of concrete renewable energy components and the mobilisation of floating oil and gas structures.

Presentations were made by Gavin Mackay of HIE on the strategic importance of Kishorn in the Scottish decommissioning sector and Sean Parsons from Liberty Steel on the potential for recycling and the circular economy. Liberty Steel which operates the nearby aluminium smelter in Fort William talked about their plans to produce new steel from recycled material. This, in conjunction with offshore infrastructure recycling at Kishorn could create an efficient circular economy opportunity within a very small geographical footprint.

The Regulators gave their insights into the regulatory framework that supports the industry and Helen Murchison, the Chair of the local community council gave her personal recollection of the Kishorn Yard from its heyday in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. The Rt.Hon. Ian Blackford rounded off the session with his political overview of the industry and the relevance of Kishorn to the local and national economy.

The day provided an opportunity for attendees to tour the site and see first-hand the results of the latest round of refurbishment and upgrading works to the Dry Dock, which is now available for hire. The 160m diameter facility with up to 13.8 metres of draft and its deep access channel is one of the largest dry docks in Western Europe and is ideally suited for use in the decommissioning, reactivation of rig, renewables and fabrication sectors.

The dry dock was originally created in the mid-1970’s for the casting of super-sized concrete structures for the North Sea oil and gas fields and the 610,000t Ninian Central platform was manufactured here. It is still the largest concrete structure sitting on the UKCS and over 3,000 personnel were accommodated on site at Kishorn in support of its construction.

The recent upgrade includes the installation of a concrete access ramp down onto the dry dock floor, and a pumping system that allows the speedy dewatering of the dock. Adjacent lay down areas have been levelled and strengthened and there is access to adjacent quay space for the transfer of materials and structures. An on-site quarry and ready mixed concrete facilities make the site ideal for the manufacture of large concrete structures – from floating concrete caissons to concrete spars and gravity bases for the offshore wind industry. Equally, the containment environment created by the dry dock makes it the obvious choice for the safe decommissioning of floating oil and gas structures.

Audrey MacIver, Director of Energy & Low Carbon from HIE, said: “It’s great to be here today with our partners as well as the oil and gas representatives. The dock has huge potential, particularly in the decommissioning of floating structures and platforms which can be removed in a single lift, renewables and aquaculture. It would be great to see it coming to life again, providing valuable rural jobs, contributing to both economic and community growth and the wider competitiveness of the region. We believe it is now only a matter of time before the facility witnesses a long line of decommissioning and construction projects.”

Bill Cattanach, Supply Chain from the Oil and Gas Authority added: “To deliver MER UK, the OGA is supporting the industry to reduce the overall financial burden of decommissioning UKCS infrastructure as it comes to the end of its productive life. It’s important there are a range of ‘fit-for-purpose’ facilities ready to accept projects which will create competition in the market place. KPL has been foresighted and invested money to bring the old dock back to its former glory making it a real option for oil companies to include in tender lists.”

The site has full planning for offices, modular accommodation, engineering and fabrication sheds etc and the relevant marine licences with Crown Estate, leases and permissions all in place for deep water berthing and anchoring of floating structures in Loch Kishorn. Storage, warehousing, logistics, shipping services and craneage are also available at Kishorn Port. The recent investments at Kishorn has been assisted with financial support from HIE and the Scottish Governments Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF).

KPL also plan in the near future to provide tours with members of the local community and local school children from the Kishorn, Lochcarron, Plockton and surrounding areas – to show the younger generation the fantastic history behind the site.

For more information, please contact us at KPL on 01397 773840 or alternatively

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