Funding announced for Port of Cromarty FirthNews // August 26, 2014
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced a £4 million grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the development of a new deepwater quayside at the Port of Cromarty Firth – bringing the total redevelopment project to £25 million.
The 35 acre Invergordon Service Base, operated by the Port of Cromarty Firth, has been close to capacity for many years and this funding sees an additional 9 acres of land reclaimed.
The investment forms part of an ongoing programme by the Port and could support hundreds of jobs in the Highlands and Islands and across Scotland.
Making the announcement whilst on a visit to the Port where he had the opportunity to witness the progress of the expansion project first hand Mr Ewing said: “The energy sector represents a huge opportunity for Scotland to reap both economic benefits and become an energy power house. That is why it is important to support the development of the Port of Cromarty Firth – which in turn can create 600 jobs for the area not just in construction but also for the supply chain. “This is another sign of confidence in Scotland as a great place to do business and a great place to invest.”
Bob Buskie, CEO for the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “The new development will offer an additional deep water quay and essential laydown space, both of which are greatly in demand by the oil and gas market and the renewables sectors. The expansion is a crucial step forward for the Port in securing future opportunities and supporting the economic health of the wider region.”
Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at HIE said: “HIE has worked with the Port of Cromarty Firth for many years, recognising its crucial role as a driver of the Easter Ross and wider Highlands and Islands economy. This £25million redevelopment, supported by £4million from HIE, will ensure the port is primed to exploit the increasing opportunities in offshore wind, oil, gas and subsea industries, especially in the North Sea and West of Shetland.
The port was established in 1973 as a Trust Port with statutory responsibility for the Cromarty Firth and manages the port facilities at Invergordon Service Base and Saltburn Pier. The majority of its activities are oil and gas related but there are growing opportunities in renewables, especially offshore wind.
In January 2013, HIE signed joint working agreements with four of the regions’ leading ports, including the Port of Cromarty Firth, to support the development of the offshore wind sector.