Project

New pier delivers vital infrastructure for local fishermen and the aquaculture industry in Shetland

Toft Pier Shetland With Boats CREDIT Keith Morrison

The new pier in Toft on Shetland provides upgraded infrastructure that will help improve conditions for the inshore fishing fleet and aquaculture industry. (Photo by Keith Morrison.)

NIRAS has helped design and develop the construction of a new 100m pier in the port of Toft in the north east of mainland Shetland under very challenging conditions. The pier provides local fishermen with upgraded infrastructure that will help improve conditions for the inshore fishing fleet and aquaculture industry.

June 8, 2021
  • SDG: #9
  • SECTORS: Ports & Marines
  • COUNTRIES: United Kingdom
  • DONOR: European Union / Shetland Islands Council
  • CLIENT: Shetland Islands Council
  • CONTRACT VALUE: £3.5m

The Scottish archipelago of the Shetland Islands in the north Atlantic are characterised by more than just their remoteness, with a rich culture, vibrant society and dynamic economy Shetland is a highly interesting place for NIRAS to operate.

Fishing is a significant contributor to the local economy and therefore access to ports and marine infrastructure across the Islands is of vital importance to the nearby communities.

NIRAS has helped develop a new pier in Toft for the local fishing community and aquaculture industry. The new pier provides approximately 100m of quay length through the encapsulation and extension of a disused jetty that was originally built as a ferry terminal in the 1970s, and which had reached the end of its serviceable life.

“We are proud to have been able to support Shetland Islands Council (SIC) in providing Professional Services throughout the projects lifecycle, including concept and detailed design, environmental surveys and studies, licence and consent applications, construction supervision and contract administration,” says NIRAS’ Associate, Andrew Walker.

The new pier was opened to vessels on May 17, 2021.

Toft Pier Shetland 20210502 1

New pier is strategically important

The pier is comprised of sheet piles supported by an internal tie rod system, filled with crushed rock, capped with a reinforced concrete deck slab and finished with deck furniture including, fenders, bollards, lighting and other services.

The working area of the new pier is approximately three times larger than at the old jetty, with around 1100 square metres, including shore power and lighting. Among the new features of the Toft pier is a 30-metre ‘dog-leg’ extension that provides more berthing space for boats and better shelter in poor weather. It also offers vessels an increased water depth on both the inside and outside of the pier.

 “This new pier will be a real asset to the local area and is an important investment by the Council in the local aquaculture and renewables sector.  Toft pier is a strategically important site for shellfish landings and has potential to support tidal energy projects too. I’m confident that this pier will help to create and sustain a diversified economy in the North Mainland,” says Alastair Cooper, Chair of the Development Committee of the Shetland Islands Council.

 

 “This new pier will be a real asset to the local area and is an important investment by the Council in the local aquaculture and renewables sector.  Toft pier is a strategically important site for shellfish landings and has potential to support tidal energy projects too.  I’m confident that this pier will help to create and sustain a diversified economy in the North Mainland.”

Alastair Cooper, Chair of the Development Committee of the Shetland Islands Council

Covid-19 and challenging weather conditions

Despite the great end result, not everything concerning the pier project was smooth sailing. The work on the project was fazed by a series of climatic challenges as well as restrictions connected to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We encountered a number of significant challenges during the development and construction of the project, including severe weather conditions, even for Shetland. Confronting unseasonably strong winds during piling operations in 2019, and prolonged low temperatures and snow whilst concreting in early 2021. Unfortunately, we were also severely delayed by the outbreak of COVID-19,” says Andrew Walker.

He stresses that the excellent cooperation with the Shetland Islands Council and the contractors on the project made it possible to minimise the disruption and still deliver this valuable facility for the local community.

“Despite all of the external pressures that we encountered during construction NIRAS and the project team worked tirelessly to meet the key funding deadlines and we have been left with a high quality asset,” says Andrew Inkster, Executive Manager for Ferry & Airport Operations & Port Infrastructure, Shetland Islands Council.

“Despite all of the external pressures that we encountered throughout the project NIRAS and the project team worked tirelessly to meet the key funding deadlines and we have been left with a high quality asset.”

Andrew Inkster, Executive Manager for Ferry & Airport Operations & Port Infrastructure, Shetland Islands Council

 

Strengthening 50-year client relationship

“I’m delighted that the Council has been able to fund and oversee the construction of this new pier, which will be a huge benefit to the local shellfish industry in particular.  Maritime and coastal industries are so important to our community and they are well supported by the Council’s management of several ports and harbours around Shetland,” says Andrea Manson, Chair of the Shetlands Islands Council's Harbour Board.

The delivery of this project further strengthens a consultant client relationship with Shetland Islands Council spanning 50 years, during which NIRAS has been responsible for the original design, ongoing life extension, maintenance and repair of the oil export Jetties at Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, as well as the design and construction of inter-island Ferry Terminals at Toft, Ulsta, Hamars Ness and Fair Isle.

“This project is another example of the cooperation that takes place between NIRAS’ regional offices and the local authorities. For this project we had engineers, designers, environmental teams, noise modelling, UXO advisers, as well as supervision and project management working together from our offices in UK and Denmark.  As a company, it gives us tremendous strength and versatility that we can draw on hundreds of experts and their specialist knowledge around the globe,” says Andrew Walker.

Facts about Toft Pier Project

The principal designer for Toft Pier was NIRAS. The main contractor on the project was Teignmouth Maritime Services (TMS) Ltd.

Local subcontractors on the project included EMN Plant Ltd, Malakoff Limited, Ocean Kinetics Limited, and Frank L Johnston (Shetland) Ltd.

The total construction cost is around £3.5m, which has been partly financed by a £1M grant from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Jamie Christie

Jamie Christie

Director

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

+44 7864982421

Christoffer Truelsen

Christoffer Truelsen

Vice President, Business Unit

Allerød, Denmark

+45 2546 1850

Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker

Associate

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

+44 770 370 5395

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