The plans would see Peel Ports’ Inchgreen dry dock at Greenock, described as a “jewel in the crown of Scotland”, brought back into full industrial use.
A long-term deal has been signed that will lead to the dock becoming an export hub for the “responsible” decommissioning of global shipping fleets.
North-east England based Atlas Decommissioning has contracts in place with blue chip container lines for multiple vessels that they are removing from their current trading fleet.
The contract is for the lease of the dry dock facility and adjacent land, which will become an export hub for recyclable metals.
A waste management licence has been granted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the new jobs at Inchgreen will include trades and skills which are said to “exist in abundance” in the local area.
Peel Ports director Jim McSporran said: “Inverclyde’s economic woes are well-documented. We have promised to bring jobs to Inverclyde, and this is just the start.
“We are fully committed to having Inchgreen Dry Dock, which is a jewel in the crown of Scotland, back in full industrial use. That usage will pay full regard to such important issues as circularity and sustainability, as with this deal.
“Clydeport is a name that has a long and proud affinity with Inverclyde, and it now has the strength of Peel Ports, the second biggest ports group in the UK, behind it. We are excited to be working with Atlas Decommissioning, a company with strong connections to global players in the shipping industry.
“We have been engaging closely with Inverclyde Council as we worked to secure this contract, which we believe will be a game changer for the area and a sign of more economic benefit to come.”
Mike Wood, project director at Atlas Decommissioning, said: “Inchgreen Dry Dock, as well as its size, also has direct access to very deep water. As a facility for the contracts we have in place I’d go as far as to say it is unique in the UK.
“There is also the attraction of the skilled workforce in Inverclyde due to its shipbuilding legacy. What we are doing here is essentially shipbuilding in reverse and requires much of the same engineering excellence and expertise.”
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “This is a terrific shot in the arm for the Inverclyde economy that will deliver almost 100 new, skilled jobs to the area and breathe new life into a key asset which is of local and national significance.
“This fits perfectly with our ongoing Inverclyde Works campaign to promote the area as a place to live, work and do business.”
Scottish business minister Ivan McKee added: “This is excellent news for the Inchgreen Dry Dock, for Inverclyde and for Scotland.
“There is no doubt the pandemic has had a significant impact on our economy and therefore to see a company like Atlas Decommissioning investing in Scotland’s economy and creating new jobs is very welcome and sends a strong message to other investors.”