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Kishorn accommodation block investment by Highlands and Islands Enterprise is vote of confidence in Wester Ross yard

By Hector MacKenzie

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KIshorn accommodation cabins. Picture: KPL
KIshorn accommodation cabins. Picture: KPL

AN ongoing drive to reawaken a sleeping Wester Ross giant to secure well-paid jobs and high-end contracts is gathering momentum.

A project to create accommodation facilities at Kishorn dry dock has secured investment of over £94,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and fuelled hopes of a long-term resurgence of a facility which supported thousands of jobs in its heyday.

Having on-site accommodation will enhance the dock’s capacity and help it attract more contracts in offshore renewables and oil and gas decommissioning, with a spin-off for the Highland economy.

Kishorn dry dock was developed in the 1970s as a manufacturing and fabrication yard for oil platforms. As one of the largest dry docks in Europe, the facility was also central to the manufacturing of the two Skye Bridge concrete caissons in the 1990s.

Last week, it welcomed Teekay’s Banff FPSO for temporary mooring. The dry dock was also recently used for the dismantling of the Kaami cargo vessel, which ran aground off the coast of Skye in March.

It also provided support service to the massive Ocean Great White rig, prior to it being commissioned to the West of Shetland oil field.

In 2017 the dock was completely refurbished in readiness for new contracts. The £450,000 project included £158,932 from HIE

KPL which runs the facility also secured £800,000, from the Scottish Government’s Decommissioning Challenge Fund, for infrastructure upgrades at the dry dock, certified by Bureau Veritas and now open for business.

The accommodation project will involve the installation of two blocks housing 28 single bedrooms.

Alastair Nicolson, HIE’s area manager for Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, hailed the facility "a great asset to Wester Ross that supports valuable jobs in a very rural area". He said: “The dock has huge potential, not only in the decommissioning of floating structures, but in the extension of life for oil and gas assets, renewables and aquaculture projects as well."

Alasdair Ferguson, Director of Kishorn Port Ltd, said: “HIE’s financial support at Kishorn is very much appreciated. This support funding has allowed us to develop on site accommodation to support contractors and staff who are out with reasonable travelling distance to work on site for projects such as the ones we are currently undertaking and also for future contracts.”

Related: Arrival is good news for Kishorn

New chapter for Kishorn as major milestone marked

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