Highland ports bid to gain £100m wind investment

Offshore wind sector is showing great interest in Scottish ports
Offshore wind sector is showing great interest in Scottish ports
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FOUR leading Highland ports have joined forces in a bid to attract £100million in investments to support the development of the offshore wind sector.

• Global Energy Nigg, Cromarty Firth Port Authority, Ardersier and Kishorn aim to build on growing wind sector

• Offshore wind supply chain showing interest in Scottish ports and harbours

The agreements between Global Energy Nigg, Cromary Firth Port Authority, the port of Ardersier and Kishorn Port aims to build on the growing industry.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the Memorandums of Understanding, backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, in his keynote speech at the Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen.

The agreements aims to support owners and operators to secure consents, market opportunities, attract investments and enable further development.

Mr Salmond said: “We are working hard with our enterprise agencies both to secure overseas investment into our world-leading renewable energy industry and to support Scottish businesses to seize the huge opportunities available, working in partnership with inward investors and the rest of the supply chain to create jobs and help re-industrialise communities right across Scotland.

“These ports are ideally-positioned to become key hubs for the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy - across manufacturing, assembly, operations and maintenance - and the new Memorandums of Understanding with Highlands and Islands Enterprise underpin the importance that we attach to ensuring that all of Scotland wins from the renewables revolution.”

Strong interest

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE said: “The offshore wind supply chain is showing strong interest in Scottish ports and harbours, and these official agreements give the market the strongest possible statement that the ports in the Highlands and Islands are open for renewables business.

“HIE is fully committed to working with ports across the region to ensure that they are ready to support manufacture, fabrication, assembly, deployment and operational support for the Scottish, UK and European offshore wind market.”

The National Renewable Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP) identified a number of key sites across Scotland offering development opportunities for the offshore wind industry.

Within the HIE area these included Nigg, Ardersier and Kishorn as potential manufacturing sites, and Invergordon as a potential operations and maintenance location.

The sites all have a long history servicing the oil and gas sector.

HIE has been working with the owners and operators for some time and each of the agreements reflects the individual aspirations and opportunities for the development of infrastructure to support offshore wind developments.