Peterhead Harbour

Peterhead Harbour is the UK’s largest white and pelagic fish port and a leading base for servicing the offshore oil and gas industry. The port handles a range of agricultural products and is well positioned to benefit from the offshore renewables and decommissioning markets, as well as continue its subsea support. 

Its strategic location, deepwater berthing and continual investment in modern facilities are key factors in its success. RPS was appointed by Peterhead Port Authority as lead consultant to support the port in the execution of it’s masterplan to development the harbour which included dredging, quay wall strengthening and deepening and reclamation.


The works were to be undertaken within a working port environment.  Key to the scheme and its development was how to achieve the balance between the most economical design solutions alongside the practicalities of maintaining port vessel operations to as normal a level as possible in the course of the works.

In addition to maintaining port operations the RPS team addressed many technical challenges in the successful design and completion of the works:

  • A high degree of variability in the nature of the bedrock throughout the harbour basin
  • The potential for water ingress if undertaking works in the dry.
  • Phasing of dredging and underpinning works to maintain the stability of existing walls
  • Maximising the beneficial re-use of dredged rock in reclamation works
  • Diversion of major services
  • Phasing and integration with simultaneous construction of a new fish market
Peterhead 1.jpg


RPS developed a solution to the works which avoided the major risks associated with attempting to dry the harbour with the consequent impact on port operations.  An innovative piled solution to the strengthening and deepening of the quay walls and berths allowed dredging and wall construction to be undertaken ‘in the wet’.  

RPS prepared and managed a range of environmental and statutory consenting processes to ensure the project met all statutory requirements throughout the works. 

Extensive ground investigation works and geotechnical assessment allowed the development of a scheme of dredging and reclamation that maximised the sustainable and economic benefits of reusing dredge spoil as fill material.


Project statistics

Re-facing of approximately 850m of existing quay walls
140,000 m3
Dredging of 140,000 m3 bedrock in the harbour basin
Reuse of dredged material as infill behind an armoured revetment
Total works value of £38M

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