Investment pays off at Port of Inverness

4th May 2012

After lying mothballed since 2005 following a plating rupture, a fish oil storage tank has received its first cargo following completion of repairs that involved it losing almost two metres of height and being re-roofed. The tank, on land owned by the Port of Inverness adjacent to the fuel depot, is owned by Fort William company Scanbio Scotland Ltd. Founded in 1997 by Chris Jones and two Norwegian partners, Scanbio built the tank operation to export fish silage to Norway, where it would be re-processed into protein and oil for animal feed. The repercussions of the BSE and foot & mouth disease outbreaks around 2000 meant that exporting fish by-products was banned.

Last year, Scanbio completed negotiations with the Port to renew and extend the lease of their facility at Inverness and then undertook the required improvement works at a cost of over £50k. The works were completed earlier this year and in less than 2 months, cargo of almost 1,000 tonnes of salmon oil worth £800k has been unloaded from the MV Scan Master that docked recently at the Port. In addition to the big tank, Scanbio owns 3 smaller tanks capable of holding up to 600 tonnes of fish protein product. These have been operational since November and are now supplying customers in the pig feed and pet food markets.

Chief Executive at the Port, Sinclair Browne commented, “This is fantastic news and we are delighted to see this cargo coming to Inverness. We have worked closely with Scanbio throughout and it is great news that their faith in renewing the facility has paid off. I hope that this will be the first of many such cargos that Scanbio are able to bring through the port.”

Chris Jones of Scanbio commented “We’ve had our operational base here on Citadel Quay for fourteen years and seen some very tough times, but with the support and help of the Port of Inverness staff, we’ve come through it and are looking forward to the next ten years. In particular, I’d like to thank Sinclair Browne and Harbour Master Capt Ken Maclean for their kind help, as well as retired Chief Exec Capt Murdo MacLeod, whose patience was second to none during those long years of inactivity. I’d like also to extend our gratitude to Sandy Catto of Scotlog, without whose help we would never have got the business off the ground in the first place.

If all goes to plan, we expect to be moving annually around 4-5000 tonnes of fish protein and oil through the Port of Inverness within a couple of years. New business at a difficult time, so I think we all have cause for optimism.”