The future of Inchgreen dry dock is looking bright, with a steady pipeline of activity lined up for the months following completion of the Ocean Terminal cruise ship pontoon.
Local representatives Stuart McMillan MSP and Ronnie Cowan MP were invited by Peel Ports to Inchgreen to see for themselves the various projects underway at the multipurpose facility, the largest mainland dry dock in the UK.
Work on the 200m long pontoon for the new cruise ship berth at Greenock Ocean Terminal was showcased and examples of future activity for the dry dock highlighted.
Civil engineers Roadbridge UK, the company contracted by Peel Ports Group to build the cruise berth as part of Inverclyde Council city deal project, has a 40-strong team working at the facility and the project is due for completion soon.
Four large watertight containers (caissons), each weighing over 1,000 tonnes, are being fabricated and will then be towed a short distance along the Clyde coast to Greenock to form the main elements of the floating Cruise pontoon.
With the pontoon project nearing completion, Peel Ports has confirmed that they are working on a pipeline of interest for the dry dock beyond the cruise ship berth.
Andrew Hemphill, Ports Director, Peel Ports Clydeport, said: “We have a specific long-term plan for Inchgreen and there has been plenty of interest in the facility for future projects.
“Fabrication of the cruise ship pontoon has obviously been an important project for Inchgreen and we are delighted to see it nearing completion. It is however just one of many projects coming on board for Inchgreen, which is an extremely versatile facility.
“The dry-dock is multi-purpose and can be used for civil construction, ship building or repair and decommissioning of ships, which is a growing market and offers a real opportunity for future work.
“Inchgreen is a facility that means a lot to the local area and we are confident that the fabrication of the cruise berth pontoon is just the beginning.”
The 200m long and 8m wide pontoon, which will be constructed using 1800m3 of concrete (roughly 900T) and 320T of steel, will take up two-thirds of the length of the dry dock, which is the biggest in the UK.
In addition to the pontoon construction, recent activity at Inchgreen acting as a marine support hub which is also being used to provide support services for the marine industry, with ships and barges using the 300m repair quayside and large area adjacent to the quayside.
Four new large mobile cranes have also been used on site, providing greater lifting capacity than their predecessors with one crane able to lift 400t.
Local MSP Stuart McMillan said: “It was incredibly encouraging to see the level of activity underway at Inchgreen. The £19m development at Greenock Ocean Terminal will bring significant benefits to the local economy and there appears to be plenty of future activity in the pipeline.”
MP Ronnie Cowan said: “This was an informative and positive visit to the dry dock, which I know is important to my constituents in Inverclyde. The Ocean Terminal development will clearly be a massive boost for the area and the fact that there are future projects in the pipeline is very good news.”
The cruise berth is part of a £19m development at Greenock, which also includes a state-of-the-art visitor centre, aimed at growing the town’s cruise industry to 150,000 passengers per annum and delivering £26 million in annual visitor and crew spend to the Scottish economy.
The Glasgow City Region City Deal has approved a contribution of £9.693m to overall Greenock development from its overall £1bn pot, which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK governments. The balance of the Marine and Landside Works will be paid for by Greenock Ocean Terminal operator Peel Ports (£8m) and the George Wyllie Foundation from arts funder the Dunard Trust (£1.5m).