ANOTHER STEP AHEAD
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Four organisations, including leading players in the ports and related industries, have expressed strong interest in the plans to establish a container port in Orkney's Scapa Flow.
This follows a request from the project steering group, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and Orkney Enterprise (OE) that statements of interest be submitted by the end of October. Detailed discussions will now be held with each of the interested parties, which include Forth Ports PLC, who have made their interest public.
The steering group will also continue to
liaise with a range of other companies in the container shipping industry,
from North America, Europe and the Far East, with whom discussions have
been held over the last year.
"The most likely model for the development of the Scapa Flow Containerport is a consortium including terminal operator, one or more shippers, a developer, and a financial institution and we will continue to talk to companies in each of these categories.
"The logic of our proposals remains compelling. A container transhipment port at Scapa Flow would offer savings to shippers, and environmental advantages over development at existing congested ports which do not have the depth of water which exists in Scapa Flow and would require extensive dredging works"
Tom Matthew, HIE's Transport Policy
Manager, said: "The current economic downturn may have put companies'
investment plans on temporary hold, but there are positive signs that
growth in world trade will resume in the near future. Companies will be
looking for new container terminals capable of handling the largest
containerships, and we believe that Scapa Flow is a prime candidate for
such a development."