Montrose Port has completed the latest stage of a infrastructure programme that has seen more than £20 million invested over the last decade.
The new berth on the North Quay, constructed at a cost of £7.5m, includes a large lay down area and an additional heavy lift pad.
The project means the port is capable of handling an increased range of vessels as it targets the offshore energy and general cargo markets.
Speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday, Montrose Port Authority chairman John Carmichael said: “Nine years ago the berth across the port had collapsed and the berths on this side were in no great shape.
“Since then we have spent some £20m reconstructing nearly 600 metres of berth to modern standards. These projects have given us the ability to meet the demands of our clients present and future and the benefit of undertaking all this work can be seen all around.”
Mr Carmichael said one of the main reasons for the large investments is because Montrose operates as a trust port, which exists for the benefit of its stakeholders.
“Profit earned by us is not distributed to shareholders or used for huge bonuses for the chief executive but is ploughed back into the port for the benefit of its stakeholders,” he added.
Mr Carmichael also hailed the work by Intermoor subsidiary ChainCo which has meant Montrose has become the premier port in Europe for anchor chain inspection and Wild Well, who have recently expanded at the port.
He said one of the reasons Baker Hughes selected Montrose for its £31m subsea facility was because the port could serve the export of their equipment.
“These are headline grabbers but along the quay there are more humble but no less important cargo vessels bringing in and out products such as grain, fertiliser, steel and timber which are the lifeblood of Montrose.
“Each of these vessels takes hundreds of lorries off roads, resulting in a significant reduction in road congestion and pollution.
“This benefit is recognised in the provision of a £1.5m government grant which has assisted in the construction of this project.”
The latest upgrade was carried out in two phases, with the first completed in March, allowing the North Quay to remain operational throughout the 13-month project.
Montrose Port chief executive Captain Tom Hutchison said: “The completion of this latest redevelopment phase simply builds upon our reputation as a key hub for both the offshore energy and general cargo market.
“The additional berth capacity enables us to strengthen and enhance our existing capabilities, which is particularly pertinent as we continue to attract a diverse range of clients.”