Dales Marine expands facilities

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Aberdeen-based ship repair and maintenance specialist, Dales Marine Services, has expanded its operations on Scotland’s east coast with the lease of a dry dock at the Port of Leith and a workshop at Montrose, in order to service growing demand in the sector.

Taking on the operation of the Imperial dry dock at Leith on an initial 10-year lease from Forth Ports, Dales Marine is to invest around £250,000 in an upgrade and overhaul, including gate seals, hydraulics, pipework, sluices and pumps, with the dock to be available for use by the beginning of March.

Having relocated to Aberdeen in 1991 where it has leased the two acre harbour site and dry dock since 2004, Dales Marine is continuing to invest and expand to meet rising demand for services. With already more than 20 vessels booked for dry docking at Aberdeen in 2010, the new dry dock, which can take two vessels such as oil-related safety or supply ships, and deeper draft ships than Aberdeen, will help cater for this.

Maurice Nicol, Managing Director, said: “The Port of Leith is helping the business to grow and develop, with the length and depth of Imperial Dock and the availability of plenty lay-by berths meaning that, in addition to our usual range of ships, we will be able to handle larger and longer-term projects.

Already utilising Montrose Harbour to carry out work onboard vessels based there and on overspill projects during times when the port of Aberdeen is particularly busy, Dales Marine’s aim to establish itself in the area by leasing a workshop from Montrose Port Authority reflects the potential of future development, “with the aim of making it a stand-alone business,” according to Mr Nicol.

John Paterson, Chief Executive, Montrose Port Authority, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Dales Marine to a ship repair workshop at a site adjacent to North Quay. Dales Marine already works on ships frequently at our lay-by berths and this facility will improve the convenience to such ships. We are keen at Montrose to expand the ship repair berthing and this development assists this aspiration for MPA, Dales Marine and complementary contractors.”