The full opening of Aberdeen’s harbour expansion has been delayed by several months.
Aberdeen Harbour Board has revealed the construction timetable has been hit by delays of between six and eight months.
It still hopes to be able to open some parts of the new development next year as planned. However, that will be part of a phased process, with the harbour to fully reopen in 2022.
Work still to be completed includes creating access for cruise ships and space for renewables and decommissioning.
The project has been hit by setbacks in recent months after principal contractor Dragados pulled out, while Covid-19 hindered progress on the construction of key elements, including a breakwater.
Harbour board chief executive Michelle Handforth said: “The final work schedule will be agreed after we have appointed our new contractor/s.
“We remain in the tendering process at present. We confirm that the completion and opening of the harbour will be done in phases throughout 2021, with full completion in 2022.”
Around 30% of work on the £350 million expansion, at Nigg Bay, is still to be completed.
Once it is finished, it will allow large cruise vessels to berth without passengers having to be transferred to shore by small boat.
The project is also seen as essential to the creation of an energy transition zone, which was approved by councillors earlier this year.
Council chiefs hope to be able to construct the business park, designed to help the region’s economy move away from reliance on oil and gas, around the development.
A Scottish Enterprise spokeswoman said: “While it is disappointing that the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project has been delayed, this is due to unforeseen circumstances.
“We continue to work closely with the Harbour Board and look forward to the full opening in 2022, with some facilities to open in 2021.”
Earlier this month, a £1.6 million deal for completion of the breakwater was awarded to Ashleigh Contracts.
And another contract for the completion of the remaining works, worth around £13 million, was put out to tender earlier this week.
Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn said: “It’s a hugely important development for Aberdeen and its completion, in as timely a manner as possible, will be of relief to many.
“My only hope is that those staff who were employed by Dragados but whose future is now uncertain, are able to play a role in the completion of the build.”