History of Kishorn Port and Dry Dock
Howard Doris – Ninian Project
The original Kishorn Yard was developed as a manufacturing and fabrication yard for oil platforms in the 1970’s. The yard was owned by Howard Doris Ltd and operated from 1975 to 1987. In 1975 work began on the North side of Loch Kishorn to develop a substantial acreage in order to build the Ninian Central Platform. This was by far the largest project undertaken at the site and the construction of the 150 metre diameter dry dock to house the first layer of the Ninian Central as it was ‘set down’ as a concrete structure.
By 1977 there were over 3,000 people working at the yard. Owing to planning and travel constraints the yard was to be considered as an island and all materials and people were to be brought in by sea or air. Two retired cruise liners were moored in the Loch for accommodation; they were the Rangatira and the Odysseus.
As the Ninian project continued it was floated out into Loch Kishorn, at that time it weighed close to 150,000 tonnes. The wet dock in Loch Kishorn has an almost unlimited depth for construction purposes at 80 metres. Upon completion the 600,000 tonne concrete platform was towed by seven tugs to its North Sea location. At that time this was the largest man-made moveable object.
The Skye Bridge began construction in 1992 and the two caissons that support the bridge were formed in the Kishorn Dry Dock. This was the last use of the Kishorn Dry Dock. For more info click here
For further information on the Ninian Central project you can watch the short film titled ‘NINIAN CENTRAL PLATFORM’ at the Scottish Screen Archive: http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=5973