The extension of a pier in the Orkney islands has seen unprecedented levels of activity, with firms positioned in the renewable energy sector being drawn to the site.
The £8 million project at Hatston, Kirkwall, is now the longest deep-water berth in Scotland. Opened in April, there are already five energy developers using the pier.
Jim Foubister, vice convener for the Orkney Islands Council, said:
“It is great to see such a high level of activity so soon after the completion of the pier extension.
“Without the extension, it would have been impossible for so many companies to have sufficient space to work alongside each other as they prepare their turbines for sea.”
Tidal energy is seen by many as a key renewable source in the future. Fuelling growth, companies are investing in new technologies to design systems which will harness energy in a viable way.
Many other firms are looking to support the sector too, including a number of factoring companies in Scotland.
Projects like this are also vital in developing success, and the Hatston pier is said to be among the best of its kind. This is recognised by key experts in exploitation of the sea’s power, with the client manager for the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Eileen Linklater, saying:
“At no other site in the world would you find such an array of tidal energy devices than at the quay at Hatston.”
A council project helped with backing from the European Regional Development Fund, the pier is also used for berthing vessels in the offshore gas and oil industry.