British contractor BAM Nuttall is set to start work at the end of this month on a new port for the Falklands Islands. The existing facilities will be replaced. BAM Nuttall was chosen by the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) in February to carry out the design and build contract for the new port. The contract was signed in early April but was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
FIG and BAM have been regularly reviewing the situation since then and have now agreed that activity can start at the end of July.
Planning will soon begin for stakeholder engagement, which is anticipated to take place in the in the first two weeks of September after the visiting BAM team members complete their 14-day quarantine. The activity will include consultation with all the key industry sectors that use the port and there will also be a public presentation, streamed live, to give the public a more general overview of the project and its proposed timelines.
Director of development and commercial services Catherine Silva Donayre said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the start of this important project and to welcome our senior project manager for the port, Christopher Chilton, who is now in the Islands and completing his quarantine.”
The port contract provides for early contractor involvement, which will allow designs to be developed collaboratively from the outset. The project will be split into three stages, with decision gateways between each stage. The first stage includes stakeholder engagement, surveys, a demand study and concept design. At the end of concept design, FIG Executive Council will review plans for detailed design stage and be asked to approve the costs and activity schedule for the next stage. The second stage will see agreement of detailed design, ending with another decision gateway for FIG to approve costs and plans for construction. The third stage will see phased construction of the port.
Development and commercial services portfolio holder Dr Barry Elsby said: “I’d like to thank all those involved in FIG and BAM Nuttall Ltd for their efforts in getting this work started despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. This project will deliver a critical part of our national infrastructure adjacent to the current port in Stanley Harbor. It will offer new facilities that will benefit users in the fishing, tourism and shipping sectors, as well as many other parts of the economy. Construction will be carefully programmed, and operations at FIPASS [Falklands Interim Port and Storage System] will be transferred to the new port part way through this stage, in order to ensure the port remains operational at all times. The project will conclude with de-commissioning and removal of FIPASS. It is anticipated that the new port will be fully operational, with the current FIPASS de-commissioned by early 2024 at the latest.”