Peterhead Port Authority managed to maintain a highly respectable turnover of £12.5 million last year despite the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on operations.
The overall value of fish handled through the port slipped from the record high of £210 million in 2019 to £190 million, with much reduced volumes and prices for whitefish.
“The year 2020 was incredibly challenging, with Covid-19, a low oil price and uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
“However, through careful planning and fantastic support from our employees and the wider port community of clients, users and suppliers, we have been able to report a much stronger trading year than we had anticipated through our re-forecasting,” said PPA chief executive Simon Brebner.
“Looking ahead, the final Brexit agreement and the disruption to seafood exports it has caused, along with Covid-19 restrictions, mean the whitefish and shellfish sectors will remain under pressure for the foreseeable future.”
He said that the Port is pressing ahead with a series of substantial initiatives this year, including a £5.5 million refurbishment of a 160m of the rock revetment to provide improved protection from overtopping seas both to vehicles on the roadway below and the nearby fish market and other properties.
PPA is also driving ahead with its long-term plan for net zero emissions, having secured EMFF funding for an all-electric utility van for harbour security and transfer of staff around the harbour and an electric road sweeper for quays and roads.
Funding was also gained for 30 sets of waste handling receptacles to be located around the fishing harbour, with green bins for recyclable waste and red ones for landfill material.
The Board decided to impose a standstill on all port, vessel and cargo related charges for 2021 to assist customers and stakeholders in a much needed path to recovery.
Simon Brebner said it was important to demonstrate to customers that the Port’s value proposition remained strong while recognising the challenges caused by Covid, Brexit and fish quota cuts.