THE revival of a former oil yard in the Highlands will see another 400 jobs created.
• Oil yard became redundant after oil boom that saw 5000 workers employed during 1970s
• Alex Salmond said the revival ‘rounds off another successful year for [Scotland’s] energy industry’
• GLobal currently employ 800 people at the site in Ross-shire
The early Christmas Present was announced by Global Energy, which took over Nigg in Ross-shire last year.
The company has launched a massive recruitment drive as it expands its oil and gas operations.
Global currently employs 800 people at the site, which boasts one of the largest dry docks in Europe and once had a workforce of 5,000 during the oil industry boom in the 1970s, before becoming redundant.
An increase in orders has resulted in Global seeking more skilled personnel to start work at Nigg and the neighbouring Invergordon Service Base on the Cromarty Firth.
Global Energy Group Chairman Roy MacGregor said: “From the outset, one of our main ambitions in developing Nigg Energy Park, was to see this site once again becoming a major local employer, providing good, well-paid jobs for people and making a real contribution to the area’s economy.
“A great deal of work has gone on over the past year since we took the facility over to try and ensure we could achieve that.
“We are delighted that the levels of work we are attracting to this excellent facility mean that we are now recruiting on this scale.
“Given the history Highland people have in working at Ardersier and Nigg, we believe these affiliations might inspire them to join our established workforce and in so doing use their skills to help us with the exciting contracts we have coming our way.
“We hope that over the next few weeks we will have a great response to these new job opportunities and our team are all ready to deal rapidly and efficiently with the applications as they come in.”
The jobs boost was welcomed by First Minister Alex Salmond, who said: “Scotland’s people are its best asset.
“This latest recruitment drive is a testament to the strengths our workforce, Scotland’s vibrant energy potential and the ambition of our energy sector.
“It is great news for the north of Scotland and rounds off another successful year for our energy industry.
“Buoyed by growing demand for the manufacture of advanced and highly-specialised technologies across energy sectors, Nigg Energy Park is set to reindustrialise the Cromarty Firth and help strengthen the wider Highland economy.
“Since buying the largely-dormant oil yard just over a year ago, Global Energy has begun a magnificent renaissance at Nigg. Their ambition is matched by the quality and skills of an expanding workforce – boosted by the Nigg Skills Academy I opened in March.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, who was with Mr MacGregor when the news was announced, added: “Scotland continues to be a world leader in the energy industry and Global Energy’s announcement that it is further expanding its operations at Nigg and Invergordon is testament to the quality of the local workforce and the continuing growth of our energy sector.
“This is a great Christmas present for Nigg and the Cromarty Firth.
“Global Energy have to be congratulated on the great deal of work they have done over the past year since taking over the Nigg facility.
“This injection of high value employment ranging from project engineers, fabricators and welders to name a few will support secured contracts for the upgrade and refurbishment of drilling rigs.
“This Government is focused on doing all we can to help the energy industry in Scotland go from strength to strength and these new jobs will be a major boost to the Highland economy and will support the oil and gas industry with its crucial role in Scotland’s future long-term economic success.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise invested £1.8 million to help support Nigg yard’s transformation into a multi-user energy hub.
Chief Executive Alex Paterson said: “This announcement by Global Energy is great news and further emphasises the region’s key role in the international energy sect
“or. Over the coming years there are opportunities in both oil and gas, and renewable energy, which can contribute significantly to economic growth and employment.”
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Rob Gibson said: “The announcement of these new jobs is a boost to the local economy and a confident early Christmas present for Easter Ross.
“It demonstrates that Global Energy Group remains committed to its operations in the Highlands and will build upon the hundreds of jobs it already provides in the area. It also demonstrates that they are the right people to take Nigg forward.
“The energy sector has long been a profitable source of investment and employment in the area and today’s announcement confirms that it will continue to be so for many years to come.
“This jobs announcement has undoubtedly been made possible thanks to the skills and expertise that the local workforce has consistently shown and stands the area in good stead for future years.
“The Oil and gas and the expanding renewable sectors offer Scotland great potential for growth. Today’s announcement makes it clear that the Highlands are at the forefront of that growth.”
Earlier this year, the Nigg Skills Academy was officially opened within the Energy Park complex by the First Minister.
Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise in partnership with Global Energy, the industry-led academy provides trainees with the skills and qualifications needed to work in the energy industry.
The Academy aims to provide training for some 3,000 people by 2015 for a range of jobs in the energy sector.