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Glen Mallan Jetty Refurbishment For Royal Navy

Construction work takes place at the Glen Mallan Jetty in Scotland [Crown Copyright]
The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is redeveloping the Northern Ammunition Jetty in Glen Mallan to support the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.


MoD Press Release, 27 July 2020: The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is investing £64-million in a redevelopment of the Northern Ammunition Jetty in Glen Mallan to support the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

The jetty is used to load and unload ammunition. The original jetty was last upgraded in 1970 and had reached the end of its natural life. It needed to be rebuilt so that the facility could continue to be used by the Royal Navy’s existing vessels and to make it suitable for the new aircraft carriers. The infrastructure works are expected to provide the new jetty with a design life of up to 50 years.

Contractors VolkerStevin are undertaking the project with completion planned for 2021. The original jetty has been demolished ready for the construction of its replacement. All waste from the jetty demolition has been transported on barges to recycling facilities on the Clyde to minimise disruption to the public and will be reused for construction. The project team has also installed 97 jetty head piles into the sea bed to support a reinforced concrete deck for the new jetty.

The jetty head piles will support a reinforced concrete deck for the new jetty [Crown Copyright]

The works also include the installation of 5 mooring dolphins which will be connected to the jetty by a pedestrian access bridge, and two of these piles for the mooring dolphins have been installed. 2 modular fender spacer units will be placed in front of the new fender panel and will move with the tide to prevent the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers’ overhanging flight decks from colliding with the jetty.

The project also includes the installation of 2 modern pedestal cranes, fire-fighting equipment, stores, back-up generators and pre-fabricated modular buildings for offices. To secure the site, new fencing and a CCTV system will be installed. Part of the project will see 14 mooring points installed on the dolphins to ensure the aircraft carriers can be securely berthed and resist tidal movement.

Craig Macdonald, DIO’s Project Manager, said: “The demolition of the existing jetty is an important step in preparing the site for vital infrastructure works to support the Royal Navy’s surface fleet in loading and unloading ammunition.

“Glen Mallan benefits from supplies of ammunition from Defence Munitions Glen Douglas, the largest weapons storage facility in western Europe, and can handle the high volume of ammunition needed for the surface fleets.

“We are pleased demolition has been completed along with the installation of 97 piles into the seabed. Infrastructure works are progressing as planned and we look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with VolkerStevin, Jacobs, local contractors and other partners to complete this crucial project.

The jetty will be used by the Royal Navy’s existing vessels and is being refurbished to make it suitable for the new aircraft carriers [Crown Copyright]

John McLoughlin, Marine and Defence Sector Director for VolkerStevin said: “We are delighted to be delivering this key piece of infrastructure for DIO which further strengthens our relationship following the successful completion of other critical projects, including the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier Base Porting Infrastructure at HMNB Portsmouth and the Ro-Ro facility upgrade and refurbishment scheme in the Falklands Islands.”

Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Vice President Jon Swift said: “As Principal Service Provider, we managed the contract on behalf of DIO as part of a dedicated team with the vision and drive to keep this project moving forward. Through early contractor engagement and close collaborative working, we are in a good position to deliver within budget and programme constraints, providing the Royal Navy with an important facility for years to come.”

Fortunately, Coronavirus has only had a minor impact on the project. DIO’s primary concern is for the safety of our team who continue delivering critical infrastructure for defence. This work is considered by the government and MOD to be critical national infrastructure. Safety precautions have been put in place and DIO continues to work closely with our contractors to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of our workforce. Our staff and contractors on site are following the latest government and social distancing guidelines to help protect against Coronavirus.

Work on the jetty refurbishment continues in line with the latest government guidance and is set to be completed in early 2021.

Library image of HMS Illustrious coming alongside Glen Mallan Jetty in Loch Long to collect ammunition, 2013 [Crown Copyright: LPhot Keith Morgan]


Background: The Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glenmallan on Loch Long was originally constructed during the Cold War to service the NATO Armament Depot for prepositioned munitions in nearby Glen Douglas. Since shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain it has operated solely for the UK MoD, as the Defence Munitions Glen Douglas depot.

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