The Ardcastle floating pier project is part of a strategy for sustainable transport planning initiated by Scotland’s £1bn timber industry sector. It will allow c£10m worth of timber reserves to be unlocked in West Argyll. The new pier has been commissioned by JST Floating Piers Ltd and is open to all users that want to transport timber from the region. An arched back linkspan connects the floating barge to the shore and the large barge accommodates JST’s new 40 tonne Liebherr LH 40 C material handler. On the land-based side is a wheeled A 934 C material handler from JST’s fleet. Building of the new pier underpins a long-term contract between Forest Enterprise Scotland and wood processing company Norbord.
With approximately nine million tonnes of timber harvested every year, Scotland’s timber industry has a significant positive impact on the region’s economy and community. This £1bn sector has recognised the need for sustainable transport planning with the west of Scotland’s proximity to the Irish sea and associated lochs and waterways making a modal shift to sea the obvious choice. The Ardcastle floating pier project is part of this strategy and will enable approximately £10m worth of timber reserves to be unlocked in West Argyll. The new pier will handle an estimated 250,000 tonnes from the local forests over the next 10 years.
Situated on the banks of Loch Fyne, the new pier has been commissioned by one of the UK’s largest cargo handling specialists, JST Services (Scotland) Ltd, through its sub-division JST Floating Piers Ltd. Its piers are uniquely engineered pieces of mobile marine equipment that enable the company to deliver timber between the shore and a depth of water suitable for the mooring and loading of vessels of up to 3000 tonnes in capacity. Where there is a suitably developed infrastructure on the landward side, JST Floating Piers can set up a pier from delivery to working condition in a 12-hour shift.