Fears for Mapco’s future in Peterhead

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The redevelopment of local fish processing business Mapco, crippled by freak weather, has been stalled by two separate Port Authority projects.

Mapco’s processing factory at Gerrie’s Yard on the harbour’s Keith Inch was flattened by the storm which hit the North-East on December 12.

Boss Nasar Rashid has been working to get the firm, which exports dried fish to Africa as a cheap source of protein, back on its feet and rescue the jobs of his 22 employees ever since.

However the Port Authority blocked a £4million redevelopment of the site on the grounds it would hinder the harbour board’s green energy plans.

The project in question is the Port Authority’s contentious plan to build two 295ft wind turbines at the harbour.

Although the plan was rejected at last month’s Buchan area committee meeting, the harbour board are considering an appeal they fear would undermined by Mapco’s proposal.

Port Authority Chief Financial Officer Stephen Paterson said: “One thing we’ve been raising right from the start of the wind turbine project is the proximity of the site to the turbine is a concern.

“If he was looking to move his factory nearer to where we want to build - that’s what he’s been asking for, not an identical footprint but one futher along the site - then it could completely block the development. The factory would be under the sweep of the blades.”

Although the green energy plan was denied, Mr Paterson hinted that a Mapco factory on the site would also hinder larger harbour redevelopment and investment plans in the future. He would not give details.

Mr Rashid said: “We have been informed that the Port’s proposed development on the site is now part of a masterplan and accordingly they cannot reverse their decision.

“Mapco will be reassessing their proposed rebuild an believe at best this decision will delay the rebuild by 12 months.”