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Mull’s new timber pier is now “open for business” said Scotland’s Education Secretary Michael Russell as he witnessed some of the first cargo being transported off the island today.
The £3 million timber pier, based at Fishnish, is being operated by TSL Contracting Ltd for Forestry Commission Scotland.
The pier will reduce transport costs off the island and save around 800,000 lorry miles each year on Scotland’s fragile roads as more timber gets moved by boats.
The pier can be used by other timber suppliers on Mull, opening up new transport options for the island’s businesses.
Mr Russell said:
“Forestry Commission Scotland’s new timber pier could act as a catalyst for stimulating business for the island’s woodland managers.
“Before the pier was built, the island was lacking a facility which can handle bulky cargo in great quantities. Up to 3,000 tonnes can be shifted through the pier at any one time and this will make a big difference.
“With cheaper transport now on offer, the viability of forest operations will be greatly improved. This will ensure harvesting and wood processing jobs are sustained on the island – which is great news.”
Already, a local group is capitalising on the new pier being open for business. The North West Mull Community Woodland Company is improving the profitability of its harvesting by transporting timber from the north of the island via the new pier.
David Jardine, Forestry Commission Scotland’s District Manager added that the building of the pier was very timely.
He said: “Most of the forests on Mull were planted between the 1950s and 1980s and are reaching a stage right for harvesting. The current harvest is around 50,000 tonnes per annum and is expected to double to around 100,000 over the next 10 to 20 years.
“There is plenty of scope to grow the market from Mull and we are very happy for the Commission’s pier to play a role in this.”
Local businesses have worked with Forestry Commission Scotland to build the pier. Mull based TSL Contractors Ltd constructed the pier with support from Steel Pile Installation Ltd and marine consultants Wallace Stone of Milngavie.
There are around 13,000 hectares of forest on Mull with Forestry Commission Scotland managing just over half.
Notes to news editors
1. For more information on the Mull pier project log onto: www.forestry.gov.uk/mullpier.
2. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
3. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests. For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotlandnews
4. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
5. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.