Works to significantly enhance the services and facilities along the Albert Pier in St Helier Harbour is expected to start in the first quarter of 2021, subject to planning approval.
If approved, the works programme will see the construction of new 24-hour access berthing pontoons alongside the Albert Pier, providing the opportunity for some of the larger vessels currently berthed in Jersey to be relocated; thereby, creating greater flexibility within the port and marinas. It will, in turn, also provide up to 20 new berths in the other marinas, benefitting the local maritime community, such as boat owners, marine traders and sea charter operations.
The plans also include the removal of the ageing Albert Pier Terminal, which is now beyond repair and nowadays only used for a short period of time during the year. Removing the building will create temporary space for contractors to work without impacting harbour operations. Passenger ferry operator, Manches Illes Express has already moved its entire operation to Elizabeth Terminal.
Following a tender process, Channel Islands based contractor Geomarine, which is part of the Garenne Construction Company has been appointed to undertake the work. The company has carried out a number of projects in recent years on behalf of Ports of Jersey, including the stabilising of Greve de Lecq Pier in 2018, the refurbishment of the Fishermen’s Pontoons at La Collette in 2013 and the dredging of St Aubin’s Harbour in 2012.
Group Capital Projects Director for Ports of Jersey, Steve Tanner explains, “We’d hoped to start work on this project last winter, but our proposals were put on hold for 12 months while we focused our efforts in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. We have consulted and engaged extensively with our commercial operators and leisure users who have welcomed the plans and recognise the opportunities and benefits this reconfiguration of the Albert Pier will bring to leisure marine community”.
A budget of £5m has been allocated to the refurbishment and demolition programme, which, in line with other works programmes carried out by the company, will be funded by Ports of Jersey and there will be no Government financial support. Work is planned to take place over the winter period in order to minimise disruption to harbour users. Although the overall completion of the project is not expected to be until summer 2021 this will not impact on the boating season as existing pontoons 4 and 5 on the Albert Pier will continue to be used to accommodate visiting and local vessels. Search and Rescue assets currently berthed on the pontoons will not be impacted as a result of the works project.
The Albert Pier project is an important investment and part of the commitment to continue to invest in critical infrastructure to ensure the Harbour is able to meet the needs of the Island into the future
CEO for Ports of Jersey, Matt Thomas, says, “Despite the impact of COVID-19 and the challenging times we face, the need for investment in St Helier Harbour has not changed. Ports of Jersey is committed to investing in our harbour infrastructure to support the resilience of the Island’s lifeline services and supply chain, as well as the future sustainability of our maritime industries. We look forward to sharing our broader investment plans for the development of the harbour, when the current demands of the pandemic have passed.”
Ports of Jersey Press Release.