ABP considering investment in Cromarty freeport
Associated British Ports is looking to develop facilities that will support offshore wind manufacturing, assembly and marshalling within the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.
A site within the proposed Nigg and Pitcalzean are of the freeport, could support both fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind projects and play a major role in the development of current and future ScotWind leasing rounds.
ABP’s interest follows the publication today of the outline business case for the freeport predicting that it could attract £3 billion of investment, supporting 10,000 new jobs in the Highlands and a further 6,000 across the UK.
The document is due to be submitted by Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF) to the Scottish and UK governments this week.
Over the coming months, ABP will work closely with key local stakeholders and the community as they consider the potential of the location.
Henrik Pedersen, CEO of ABP, said: “Offshore wind offers huge potential to generate green energy and – if the right conditions are in place – significant jobs and prosperity benefits to Scotland and the UK.
“We’re excited to explore the potential of Nigg, applying our experience across the UK, including at our Ports of Grimsby, Hull, Lowestoft and Barrow which already host significant offshore wind activity and at Port Talbot, where we are developing a Floating Offshore Wind port project.
“We look forward to working with key local partners, the community, and public sector stakeholders.”
Calum MacPherson, chief executive of ICFGF, said: “The Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport welcomes today’s announcement by Associated British Ports.
“Offshore wind presents great new potential for growing investment and good jobs for the Inverness and Cromarty Firth areas. It’s good to see an additional experienced port operator coming on board who wants to work with the existing Green Freeport members and local communities to help maximise the potential of the area.”
The Floating Offshore Wind Taskforce’s recently-published Industry Roadmap 2040 estimated that planned floating offshore wind projects in Scottish waters alone will require three to five integration ports.
ABP is already developing plans for a c.£500 million investment in its port at Port Talbot in South Wales to act as a major FLOW construction facility. The company will be applying the experience from that development as it assesses options for Nigg.
Andy Reay, head of offshore wind for ABP, commented: “This is an exciting development that plays a vital role in supporting delivery of the UK’s net zero commitments and the requirements for offshore wind projects in Scottish waters.
“Ports play a vital role in supporting the UK’s green energy transition. Today’s announcement will further cement ABP’s reputation as a leader in supporting the offshore wind industry with, for example, the world’s largest offshore wind Operations & Maintenance (O&M) port at its Port of Grimsby and hosting the UK’s largest wind turbine component-manufacturing plant at Green Port Hull.”
Over recent years, together with its customers, ABP has invested over £300 million to support the growth of offshore wind. ABP’s ports have supported the installation of over 500 turbines and provide support to over 7GW of offshore wind – over half of the UK total.
ABP’s existing ports on the west coast of Scotland at the entrance to the Firth of Clyde – the Ports of Ayr and Troon – have also played an important role in supporting the delivery of onshore wind projects including the South Kyle windfarm and Kirk Hill.