GIANT concrete caissons are towed up the Cromarty Firth nearing the end of their journey from Spain, where they were manufactured, in preparation for their part in the new £400 million Aberdeen Harbour in Nigg Bay.

They are among millions of tonnes of infrastructure delivered to the Port of Cromarty Firth (PoCF) for five huge projects – including two new developments – worth a total of £41m to the port. The new developments are at Lochaline Harbour and Dalcross, near Inverness Airport, where a 130-bedroom Courtyard by Marriott hotel will be built.

Piles are being housed at the Cromarty Firth for use at Lochaline Harbour, while accommodation modules are being stored ready to be moved to the hotel site. Meanwhile, among the tonnes of material for three existing projects are piles for part of PoCF’s own record £31m quayside expansion. These will be installed this week to form the new quayside – which is generating more than 140 new jobs across the Highlands and Islands.

PoCF chief executive, Bob Buskie, pictured, said: “These are exciting times for the port and the Highlands ... Our own plans to expand the port quayside and laydown area and create an Energy and Cruise Hub are on schedule and on budget. We are certain the return on this investment to the local area will be significant for decades to come.”

Inverness and Nairn MSP, Fergus Ewing, added: “It is excellent news for the port and the wider Highland economy that PoCF is able to house construction material of such size.”