THE Scottish Government has pledged £6.5million towards the £40.5million costs of a new quayside at a Highland energy park – which is set to benefit from one of the biggest offshore windfarms to be constructed in the UK.
First Minister Alex Salmond made the funding announcement during a visit to Global Energy Group’s Nigg yard in Ross-shire to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the firm and Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL).
The MoU will see the two companies enter discussions on a wide variety of subjects in relation to the suitability of Nigg to build the recently consented Moray Firth Offshore Wind Farm.
It is claimed it has the potential to support up to 2,400 Scottish jobs during its construction and 330 through operations and maintenance.
The agreement will explore the use of Nigg Energy Park for the development of MORL’s 1,116MW offshore wind generation project in the outer Moray Firth.
The new £40.5 million Nigg quayside development will offer over 1,100 metres of available quayside with deepwater access for customers in the offshore oil and gas sector.
It will also support the demand for large laydown areas and fabrication facilities for the renewables industry. It is anticipated the new facilities will lead to the fabrication of marine devices and heighten interest from the renewables supply chain to use Nigg for a mix of load in/load out and fabrication of key components, such as steel jacket foundations, towers and nacelles.
The First Minister also welcomed the announcement of a contract between Global and MORL, which will see the energy firm construct the steel lattice section of the met mast which will be installed this year.
Mr Salmond said: “Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland to reap both economic benefits and become a power house of green energy.
“That is why it is important to support the new Nigg quayside development – which in turn will see a £190 million additional turnover, and £462 million in aggregate over the first three years of operation.
Roy MacGregor, Chairman of Global said: “Recently, the Renewables industry and especially Offshore Wind, has been through a period of some uncertainty.
“However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are very encouraged by MORL’s plans. We are grateful for the opportunity to sit down with MORL and discuss a scope of work, which we expect will contribute significantly to additional local employment and opportunities for training people in new skills.
“This could be the beginning of another exciting period for Nigg Energy Park.”