Marine Services News
A high-powered team from the Crown Estate visited Gills Harbour this week where it met directors of its Canisbay community-owned port and its (partial) lessee Mr Andrew Banks, managing director of Pentland Ferries Ltd. 'Preliminary discussions' on several matters of mutual interest took place, including a brief introduction to and description of the present 'Coastal Community Fund'.
TOP-LEVEL HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS ENTERPRISE TEAM VISITS GILLS HARBOUR IN LATE OCTOBER, 2013. A top-level team from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Government's North of Scotland jobs agency, visited Gills Harbour and were given a tour of its facilities this week (21.10.13) by the office-bearers of its Canisbay community owners, Gills Harbour Ltd (GHL).
In recent weeks members of the Caithness public may have noticed some activity by MeyGen Ltd. around the Pentland Firth Inner Sound and at Ness of Quoys.
Report By Bill Mowat Atlantis Resources Corporation is 10% shareholder in MeyGen Ltd's Inner Sound seabed lease Crown Estate concession, which lies between 1 and 1.5 miles off Gills Bay/Harbour, between the mainland of Canisbay parish and Stroma Island. As GHL chairman, I'm quite happy to be quoted as stating that the move upwards to 1.5 MW output per individual tidal stream electricity-generating is being considered and indeed is in the early stages of being acted upon by several other tidal turbine developers.
Up to six turbines will be initially placed in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Caithness, Scotland, the first phase of what developers hope will be a much larger project. MeyGen Ltd.
The parent firm of a major shareholder in a seabed lease from the Crown Estate in the Pentland Firth is vowing to establish a 'European industrial nerve-centre fore tidal turbines' ... but almost 1,000 miles away from the North of Scotland.
A new multi-million pound redevelopment at mainland Scotland's most northerly port, Scrabster Harbour, is already reaping the benefits, only two months after coming into operation. Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, based in Orkney, has chosen Scrabster as the location for their most recent operations and maintenance work on their prototype tidal turbine, the SR250.
Detailed sea-survey work for a tidal stream electricity 'array' in the Pentland Firth is in full swing just now with specialist vessel Lia. The officers and crew of a specialist vessel, owned by a venerable British family business with a history dating back over 200 years, have been busy this week (starting 04.08.13) in the Pentland Firth conducting detailed surveys in connection with a planned sub-sea 'tidal stream electricity' power station.
Reporter - Bill Mowat Big 'push' by France into tidal-stream electricity developments, spearheaded by a major Pentland Firth participant, is welcomed by the chairman of Scotland's most Northerly mainland port. Community-owned Gills Harbour Ltd lies adjacent to the Firth's 'tide-fields', while upgrade works at the Gills Bay site continue throughout this summer (2013).
Influential energy trade body Energy North has unveiled an ambitious new two-year business strategy which will see the organisation grow its physical presence and increase its support for member businesses and industry development across the North of Scotland. Over the coming months Energy North is to recruit three regionally-based area developers covering Caithness, Ross-shire and Inverness, Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and Argyll and Lochaber, with chief executive, Ian Couper leading on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.
The latest vessel in a Far North fleet servicing marine renewables in 'Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters' made her debut call at Gills Harbour on July 2nd, 2013 and was based there for the next three days. The motor vessel Ocean Explorer is a recent addition to the 6-strong flotilla of 'marine electricity support vessels' owned and operated by Leask Marine Ltd, of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.
Staff with a Caithness civil engineering firm, working on behalf of the Highland Council, have been taking advantage of a recent astronomical phenomenon to secure the future integrity of a key access road in the Far North. A small section of the foundations of the Council's 'spur' access road from the John O'Groats to Thurso A 836 route to busy Gills Harbour were undermined by the action of a 'very severe' sea-storm last winter.
Deputy Harbour Master Jason Hamilton (white hard hat) with new employee Donald McIntyre (blue hard hat). Scrabster Harbour Trust has been able to take on a new member of staff thanks to funding secured via The Highland Council's Employment Grant scheme.
Wick Harbour Authority's ambitious plans to attract new jobs to the area from the offshore wind industry have received a boost with the combined support of £450,000 from two partners in the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). The Harbour Authority is positioning the port to attract business from the two large offshore wind developments in the Moray Firth, and is currently working on a multi-phase programme to ensure that its facilities meet the requirements of industry.
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding of £30,098 to Wick Harbour Authority for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity at Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths. Interpretation panels will also be installed in the area around the harbour to promote the maritime heritage of Wick and provide information regarding the diversification process to create a modern port.
New updated sketch 'renderings' of the World's first purpose-built tidal stream turbine installation ship, the planned HiFlo-4 catamaran vessel, have just been released by her designers Mojo Maritime Ltd, of Falmouth, Cornwall, one of Britain's most technologically-innovative 'green' marine energy specialist engineering companies. Its managing director Captain Richard Parkinson has told Gills Harbour Ltd's chairman that its innovative vessel is on track for being delivered from her builder's shipyard during the summer of 2015.
The powerful modern 25 metre 'multi-cat' vessel 'Orcadia' berthed at Gills Harbour on Friday morning 17th May 2013; her first call there this year. She is owned and operated by Scotmarine Ltd, of Stromness, Orkney, one of a group of 'marine renewables' companies in the islands founded and headed by entrepreneur Barry Johnston.
Some indicative Pentland Firth energy sketches relating to Gills Bay/Gills Harbour, Caithness, KW1 4YB. The sketches have been drafted for Gills Harbour Ltd by Mark Fresson, a senior architect at Archial Ltd's North of Scotland office in Inverness and kindly donated to community-owned Gills company.
Two top Highland Council leaders have been paying a fact-finding visit to Gills Harbour. Council convener Councillor Jimmy Gray and Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee chair Councillor Deirdre Mackay looked over facilities at the busy Canisbay facility, on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound.
Local roots of lead installations engineer for first tidal-stream turbies to enter Inner Sound. A Caithness-descended sub-sea engineer, who is proud of his Canisbay parish roots, is to take charge of the installation of the very first electricity-generating tidal turbine in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound next year (2014).