The north east's geography means that the transport of goods by sea is a major component in the transport system, with Peterhead and Aberdeen being the principal ports. Nestrans works with the north east harbour authorities and main harbour users to realise new maritime related opportunities and address issues of surface access to the harbours.
Peterhead Port Authority completed £33.5M plans for new 650ft quay at the Smith Embankment and a new 328ft breakwater at the Albert Quay in October 2010. Smith Quay has a working area of 16,000 square metres - including heavy-lift and module skidding capabilities - and full quayside servicing.
Since 2012 Aberdeen Harbour has been investigating ways in which it can expand in order to meet their customera needs. The plan would be to construct a modern, state-of-the-art harbour facility within Nigg bay, which would then meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond. The potential plans for the development have been included in the Scottish Government’s third National Planning Framework (NPF3).
The north east is also ideally placed, through its work with the North Sea Commission to benefit from European Commission projects building upon the Northern Maritime Corridor project, which aims to transfer goods from road to sea.
Nestrans coordinates local authority involvement in ferry matters on behalf of the two councils and provides input and feedback as necessary in relation to ferry matters. In the past year responses have been submitted to the Scottish Government's consultations relating to the Review of Scottish Ferry Services, the Tendering of the next Northern Isles ferry service and the range of possible measures to reduce costs and improve efficiencies on the Northern Isles ferry services in the short term.
The Government is progressing the Ferries Review to enable them to put in place a long-term ferries strategy to 2022.