Port of Leith wind farm deal to generate hundreds of jobs

Hundreds of jobs could be in the pipeline after the Port of Leith signed an agreement for work on a multi-billion-pound offshore wind project.

Scotland’s largest offshore wind renewables hub has secured a “reservation and collaboration” agreement with BP and EnBW, as the marshalling port for the 2.9-gigawatt Morven wind farm project.

Port owner Forth Ports’ £50 million investment will see the facility in operation by the end of 2023, providing a bespoke offshore wind berth and a significant land bank for laydown and marshalling of offshore wind farm components.

With the capacity for local content manufacturing, as well as providing a base for smaller firms operating in the offshore wind supply chain, the hub will create employment of up to 1,000 “high quality”, long-term direct jobs and around 2,000 indirect jobs, bosses said.

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Morven is a major offshore wind project located some 60 kilometres off the east coast of Scotland, awarded to BP and EnBW during the ScotWind leasing round with results announced earlier this year. Once completed, the project is expected to have a generating capacity sufficient to power more than three million homes.

The Port of Leith is a key part of the Forth Green Freeport bid, submitted to the UK and Scottish governments for assessment last month. The bid has the potential to generate 50,000 “green jobs” and act as a catalyst for new green technologies and renewable energy manufacturing, unlocking £6 billion of private and public investment for Scotland. A number of other locations are in the running for green freeport status.

Carole Cran, chief financial officer at Forth Ports, said: “This is significant news for our business and for Scotland, as we welcome BP and EnBW’s Morven project to Leith, the first of many for our new facility.

“We will be the largest offshore renewables hub in Scotland, bringing manufacturing opportunities and highly skilled, local, green jobs. This facility, and the Port of Dundee, will provide an integrated service offering to the offshore wind market, which will be instrumental in achieving the nation’s net zero targets over the next two decades.

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Carole Cran, CFO, Forth Ports; Richard Haydock, project director, offshore wind, BP; Céline Combé, EnBW project director; David Webster, director of energy, Forth Ports; against the backdrop of the Port of Leith. Picture: Peter Devlin

“Our vision is to create a renewables centre of excellence for R&D, manufacturing and assembly that matches anything in northern Europe, with genuine export potential.”

Richard Haydock, project director, offshore wind at BP, said: “This is the next step for us to be able to deliver 2.9GW of clean energy. The project’s investment will support the Port of Leith with its transformation into a renewables hub and help position Forth Ports for future Scottish offshore wind projects.”

Céline Combé, EnBW project director, added: “Our journey with the Port of Leith started at a very early stage of our Morven project back in 2021. EnBW and BP are excited about taking the collaboration with Forth Ports to the next level with this agreement.

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“It marks another important milestone in the development of our Morven project. We are looking forward to continuing working with the team at Forth Ports, and we are proud to keep contributing to the build out of renewable infrastructure in and for Scotland.”

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Edinburgh's Forth Ports says Green Freeport on Forth could bring 50,000 jobs
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