Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has confirmed it is to invest approximately £200m in a new ferry port in Scotland. The new Loch Ryan port will occupy a 28-acre site two miles north of Cairnryan, following the Scottish parliament’s decision to grant a Harbour Empowerment Order (HEO) allowing construction.
Accommodating a mix of travel and freight, the port will serve customers year round.
The investment also includes the addition of two large modern Stena ferries when the port becomes fully operational, improving the comapany’s Irish Sea service to Belfast Port.
Speaking at the announcement of the new port Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, said: “This new development will safeguard and create 1,400 jobs and trigger significant investment in Dumfries and Galloway.
“I am delighted to welcome the decision to approve this project and Stena Line’s commitment and continuing contribution to the Scottish economy.”
Construction work at the new port is anticipated to take approximately 20 months, and will be completed by autumn 2011. The project is the first in a number assigned National Project status by the Scottish government.
Dan Sten Olsson, chairman of Stena Line outlined the importance of the development to the future prosperity of Scotland. He explained: “Today is an historic day for the people of Scotland and indeed Northern Ireland.
“The investment we have announced will provide Scotland with a first-class port facility which underlines and enhances the port’s prominence as the third largest gateway in the UK.”
Stena Line is the largest operator on the Irish Sea with the largest fleet and route choice between Britain and Ireland.