VolkerStevin completes Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)

VolkerStevin has completed a significant series of upgrades to support the nationally critical £7bn Queen Elizabeth Carrier (QEC) programme, the final being the Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan, near Helensburgh, for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the MOD.


The jetty at Glen Mallan, which is used to load and unload ammunition for the Royal Navy’s surface fleet, was last upgraded in the 1970s and had reached the end of its economic life. The upgrade work has not only extended the life of the jetty by an estimated fifty years,but has also made the site accessible for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

VolkerStevin was awarded the £67m contract in 2019 and worked with the DIO and key suppliers, Jacobs and Arch Henderson, to deliver an asset that will help keep our country safe for decades, 

and set a new benchmark for collaborative working on complex defence maritime projects.

The previous jetty was demolished and replaced with a new 135m long jetty structure, requiring 127 steel piles to be driven into the loch bed to support a reinforced concrete deck. The works also included the installation of navigation aids and five mooring dolphins, which are connected to the jetty by a pedestrian access bridge. Two modular fender spacer units have been placed in front of the new fender panels and move with the tide, to prevent the overhanging flight decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales from colliding with the jetty.  

The project was completed nine months ahead of the scheduled completion date, for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. All parties worked closely together to progress the project sufficiently for the aircraft carrier to berth at the new Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan, in March last year.

Craig MacDonald, the DIO’s Project Manager, said: “It’s been such a pleasure to work on such a nationally-important and dynamic project. The project has faced numerous challenges, but they have been overcome with good teamwork, communication and collaboration. It’s great to see this vitally important facility now in full operation.”

John Cox, managing director, VolkerStevin said: “We are very proud to have played a key role in the successful delivery of all three phases of the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carrier infrastructure upgrade programme.  The completion of this final phase is testament to the hard work and commitment of the entire team, and demonstrates the benefits of a strong collaborative approach in the delivery of complex critical infrastructure projects.” 

Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Vice President Jon Swift said: “As a critical national infrastructure project, work continued through the pandemic with all necessary precautions taken and guidance followed to keep everyone safe.”

“The Glen Mallan Northern Ammunition Jetty is the third and final jetty refurbishment to support the nationally critical £7bn Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carrier programme.”

The team has been recognised at three different construction industry awards for its work, winning ‘Best Infrastructure Project’ at the Scottish Civil Engineering Awards 2021, and ‘Upgrade and Renewal Project’ at last year’s British Construction Industry Awards 2021. The team was also a finalist at the 2021 Construction News Awards in the ‘Best Large Project over £50 million’ category.

©UK Ministry of Defence CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2021.