Port review

Aberdeen Harbour ‘opening up a new world’ for region

Michelle Handforth; ‘unique opportunities’

Aberdeen Harbour remains a key to the regeneration of the north east economy as the region embraces new industries, says the board in its latest annual review.

Europe’s premier marine support centre for the oil and gas industry and the main commercial port servicing the North East of Scotland last year received 9,489 vessels, including nearly 4,000 supply vessels for the offshore oil and gas industry. 

More than 166,000 ferry passengers travelled through the harbour on vessels operated by Serco NorthLink Ferries. Freight services from the company also saw more than 168,000 heads of livestock pass through the port.

This traffic generated a pre-tax profit of £19.63 million on a turnover of £38m and more than £1.5bn in GVA.

Plans for development are well under way. Construction began three years ago on the £350 million South Harbour expansion into Nigg Bay, to the south of the existing harbour.

The last six months have been about as far from conventional as anyone could have imagined

– Alistair Mackenzie, Aberdeen Harbour board

The expansion is 70% complete and is due for phased completion in 2021, with expectations that it will add a further £900m to the Scottish economy.

Michelle Handforth, chief executive, said: “The South Harbour is a unique opportunity for us to build our way out of these troubled times and to grasp the transformative opportunity that the development represents. It is key to opening up a new world of possibilities for the entire region.”

Alistair Mackenzie, chairman, added: “The last six months have been about as far from conventional as anyone could have imagined but it shows, more clearly than ever before, the need to accelerate the evolution of our business and regional economy.”

As one of only two EcoPorts in Scotland, Aberdeen is expected to play a pivotal role in the energy transition.

This year 2020 will see the port source 100% of its energy from clean sources, introduce its first electric vehicles and invest more than £300,000 in replacing more than 700 lights with LEDs to reduce consumption by 54% every year.

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