UK: Cromarty Firth port expansion plan is "shovel ready"News // May 31, 2013
Cromarty Firth Port Authority showcased its proposed port expansion plans at the 2013 All Energy exhibition in Aberdeen.
The £20 million expansion is now “shovel ready” and will see the Port expand by nine acres and includes the creation of a deep water quay capable of handling vessels up to 160 m in length.
The project is due to get underway early in 2014 and will be completed by mid-2015.
Captain Ken Gray, Chief Executive and Harbour Master, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for the Port and for Easter Ross.
"The Port must expand in order to meet the needs of our customers, but also the economic implications are huge. Once complete, this development should support in the region of 791 full time operational jobs (direct and indirect), as well as 177 FTE jobs during the construction phase. “
The Port offers some of the deepest water on mainland Scotland, with 24 hour access, 365 days a year. The expertise of the locally based supply chain, coupled with the modern port facilities available at Invergordon, have made this multi-user facility the port of choice for inspection, repair and maintenance of oil rigs, as well as subsea engineering. Today, the renewables sector is also becoming increasingly important.
The port is the closest deep water port to the Beatrice and Moray offshore windfarms. It has handled over 300 complete onshore wind turbines.
The Cromarty Firth based facilities have also fabricated and shipped out four wave test turbines, including the next generation Ocean Power Technology PowerBuoy.
The planned development is the latest in a series of investments on behalf of the Port Authority, aimed at ensuring the long term health of the Port. Phase 1 was completed in 2010 and involved a £1 mllion investment into the upgrade of port facilities.
In 2012, the Port Authority reactivated 2.6 acres of port land, adding to the amount of high quality lay down that it can now offer.
The new expansion is an exciting opportunity for the Cromarty Firth Port Authority to ensure that the Invergordon Service Base can meet the needs of both offshore renewables and the oil and gas sector.