Work on the new cruise ship berth in Greenock is due to take an important step forward in February with the completion of the floating pontoon's main elements.
The new Ocean Terminal facilities will be capable of handling some of the largest ships in the world. The pontoon is expected to be made up of four 1,000-tonne concrete caissons, of which each is the size of a small vessel.
The caissons are under construction at Inchgreen dry dock, Greenock. Work on them is scheduled to be finished next month. Once complete they'll be towed to the terminal as well as secured to piles driven into the sea bed.
The 200-metre berth will be able to accommodate superships up to 340 metres long. The pontoons are all 5 metres high and 8 metres wide. 2 of them are 44 metres long and 2 are 56 metres long. They're made of steel-reinforced concrete that is filled with polystyrene for buoyancy.
The new project, led by Inverclyde Council, is part of the GBP 1 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal that is funded equally by the UK and Scottish Governments. The new facilities are due to increase visitor numbers to 150,000 passengers per year.
Visitors will step from the pontoon into a state-of-the-art cruise terminal which forms the project's shore-side component. Site preparation works are currently underway.