Aberdeen politicians have voiced their disappointment that the completion of work on a multi-million-pound harbour expansion has been delayed.
The body said the development was into the “most demanding and complex phase” of works with the deep water construction and they have run into “technical challenges” with their South Breakwater dredging programme.
The harbour board said the exact impact of winter weather, such as high tides, is not clear on the overall development, but they are hoping to finish the South Harbour in 2021.
Bosses said the delay is “highly regrettable”, but added they will see it through.
Aberdeen Harbour was first established as a business back in 1136 and construction on the new Aberdeen South Harbour began in 2017.
The £350 million expansion of facilities will accommodate larger vessels and hopes to upscale opportunities for existing customers, while opening the door to new markets.
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Aberdeen South Conservative MP Ross Thomson said the hold-up is “disappointing” and hoped any disruption for users at the near 900-year-old port can be kept to a minimum.
Mr Thomson said: “Obviously, it is very disappointing to hear that this project is facing a delay.
“I hope that any disruption caused to cruise ship passengers or businesses can be kept to a minimum. It is important, however, that the work is done properly and to the highest possible standard.
“I have no doubt that, when completed, this expansion will be a tremendous success and will provide a huge boost to our local economy.”
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said he “hoped” the harbour board could complete the project within the new timeline.
He said it was important to make sure the works were successfully completed.
Mr Macdonald said: “The new South Harbour is hugely important to the Aberdeen city region, both for the extra business it will attract and for the opportunity it will bring to use the existing harbour in a different way.
“Aberdeen Harbour Board say it will take them a year longer than they first thought and I hope they can deliver on that.
“What matters most is to get it right, so that once the new harbour is open it stays open, with all the benefits that can bring.”
Michelle Handforth, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, said: “Aberdeen South Harbour is a visionary project and one which will serve the region for hundreds of years to come. It is imperative, therefore, that we create a product of the highest quality, safety and durability.
“Any change in our programme is highly regrettable, but we’re keeping our eye on the bigger picture, which is about creating a once-in-a-lifetime economic development opportunity for the region.
“We are still making excellent progress, given the complexity of the project, and it is widely appreciated that infrastructure projects of this scale can be susceptible to technical challenges.
“We will keep working with our contractors and stakeholders to successfully manage these situations as they arise and together we’ll see this project through to a successful completion.”
The move will impact cruise industry customers using the South Harbour in 2020, but those companies using the North Harbour will be “unaffected”.
In the summer, transport secretary Michael Matheson visited the harbour for himself and hailed the potential economic impact it could make once the expansion work is completed.
He said: “There’s absolutely no doubt it will help to boost not only the north-east economy, but the Scottish national economy as well.
“This is a major piece of infrastructure which we’re really pleased to see.”