A new £10½ million pier at Copland’s Dock in Stromness that ensures that Orkney continues to play a central role in the growing marine renewables sector, has been officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.
Following an increase in marine traffic at Stromness, Orkney Islands Council took the decision to increase the harbour’s capacity.
With £2.5 million Scottish Government funding, supporting £6.25 million from Orkney Islands Council and £1.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund, a new 100 metre pier at Copland’s Dock and access road was developed to give greater marine energy access to the harbour and a local industrial estate.
First Minister Salmond said: “Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland to reap both economic and environmental benefits. Scottish waters offer the majority of the UK’s wave resources and Orkney is at the very centre of the emerging marine renewables sector.
“More than 40% of electricity consumed in Scotland in 2012 was from renewable sources. We have invested, and will continue to invest, in projects such as the new Copland’s Dock development ensuring that our maritime communities are well-placed to capitalise on these economic opportunities.
“I am heartened to see Orkney and other Scottish coastal communities playing a leading role in the green industrial revolution as the wave and tidal energy sectors move towards industrial-scale manufacturing and deployment over the next decade.
“I’m pleased to be able to open the development at Copland’s Dock, which I have no doubt will bring huge benefits and contribute greatly to the future prosperity of Orkney, Stromness and the town’s harbour for years to come.”
Councillor James Stockan, Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “The opening of the pier and marine renewables base at Copland’s Dock is the final piece in the jigsaw for an ambitious project to support the wave and tidal energy industries marking the end of a £23 million investment programme.
“Orkney is playing a world leading role in the development of technologies that harness energy from the seas around us. The council has responded by providing new and upgraded marine and shore based support facilities at three key locations in our islands.
“Copland’s Dock received generous financial support from the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in addition to the Council’s own significant investment. The result is an important new asset for Orkney that will be also be used by a wide range of local vessels.”
Together with developments at Lyness (Hoy) and Hatston (near Kirkwall), the Copland’s Dock pier will complete Orkney Islands Council’s Three Ports Strategy to invest in major infrastructure projects that provide the marine renewables industry with upgraded and new-build pier and quayside facilities at key locations.