Port of Cromarty Firth welcomes report’s cluster ‘vote of confidence’

A windfloat on the Cromarty Firth

The Port of Cromarty Firth welcomes a new independent report that positions Cromarty Firth as the prime location in Scotland for the formation of an offshore wind port cluster that will deliver a huge economic boost to the nation.

A key recommendation in the industry-led assessment, commissioned by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC), states that Cromarty Firth’s strategic location, current and future manufacturing capabilities as well as its marshalling and assembly capacity mean it is best placed to absorb a massive increase in the volume of work created by the rapid expansion in Scotland’s offshore wind sector.

The report highlights how Scotland must prioritise its efforts quickly to grow offshore wind’s national economic value and meet climate targets. The expansion in offshore wind and floating offshore wind is seen as vital in Scotland’s ambitions to decarbonise its energy sector in order to become a net-zero economy by 2045.

The report, led by Professor Sir Jim McDonald, states: “As our analysis demonstrates, the Cromarty Firth emerges as the most suitable location in Scotland for [floating offshore wind] platform fabrication and manufacture, with the two ports of Invergordon and Nigg acting as the focus of effort to secure platform fabrication and manufacture.

“These ports have sufficient capacity available or close to being ready as well as suitable quayside facilities for construction and movement of floating platforms. The wider Cromarty Firth offers space for wet storage of platforms and close access to many potential ScotWind sites.”

Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “This is a fantastic report and a huge vote of confidence in the Cromarty Firth. We wholeheartedly welcome the conclusion that the Firth is the most advanced collaborative Port cluster and prime location for a Scottish offshore wind hub.

“The report has highlighted not only our existing collaborative capabilities but also our ability to significantly expand in the future. Much of this work is thanks to the sterling efforts of Opportunity Cromarty Firth, a dynamic partnership of private and public sector organisations and academic bodies, including the Port. OCF is committed to achieving Green Port status and realising the full potential of the rapidly growing pipeline of renewable energy projects being constructed in Scotland’s waters.

“The Port of Cromarty Firth, together with Global Energy Group at the Port of Nigg, have had the foresight to invest in excess of £100m to position the Cromarty Firth at the heart of Scotland’s offshore renewables industry. This reports highlights the benefit of collaborative working and we hope that its strategic investment recommendation in significant additional infrastructure is in line with the Scottish Government’s funding appetite to ensure the opportunity in front of us is maximised.

“It is vital that work begins now on realising the opportunity we have to build a valuable and sustainable offshore wind sector in Scotland. We cannot do this alone, and urge everyone in the public and private sectors to work together to make this exciting vision of a new and established clean energy industry, bringing with it quality jobs and a pipeline of work for decades to come, a reality.”

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