Improved berthing and increased capacity for ferries.

Lerwick Port Authority is to upgrade facilities at the Holmsgarth terminal in a project to improve the handling of roll-on/roll-off ferries.

A mooring dolphin used by the ferries for their mooring lines since 2002 is being replaced by a larger berthing dolphin which will be used to take the vessels alongside, thereby assisting in berthing.

Lerwick Port Authority Harbourmaster, Captain Calum Grains, said: “The new dolphin will bring two key benefits by improving the berthing process, especially in adverse weather, and by enabling the roll-on/roll-off terminal to handle larger ferries in the years ahead.

“The terminal is a vital component in the life and economy of Shetland. As well as around 120,000 passengers annually, the terminal handles a significant volume of freight. The improved berthing system will bring important gains in the efficiency of operations.”

The terminal is used by NorthLink Ferries for its services on the Aberdeen/Orkney routes.

A £1.6 million main contract has been awarded to Tulloch Developments Limited, a local contractor. With enabling works underway, the main marine construction is due to be carried out between March and September, 2010.

Calum Grains added: “The project is the latest in an ongoing series of developments benefiting various sectors, with this particular investment part of a longer-term plan to provide a new, larger freight linkspan to replace the existing one which is over 30 years old.”

Development of the port to handle larger vessels also includes a £12 million dredging project completed in 2008 and the construction of two, additional deep-water quays at Greenhead Base, starting in 2010.

Note: The photograph shows the existing mooring dolphin as the outermost structure of the jetty. This is being replaced with a second berthing dolphin, similar to the wider intermediate structure.

NorthLink secures replacement freight vessel –

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