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Port floating wind farm partnership will create new construction facility


By Calum MacLeod

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The Port of Cromarty Firth's new partnership has been welcomed as a boost to its long term future.
The Port of Cromarty Firth's new partnership has been welcomed as a boost to its long term future.

Port of Cromarty Firth has signed a partnership agreement with a leader manufacturer of off-shore wind farm floating foundations, which could create well in excess of 500 new Scottish construction jobs.

The Letter of Intent would see French company Ideol and its future local construction partners use the Port’s land and berthing sites and cooperating towards further developing the facilities and infrastructure with the aim of establishing a concrete hull serial manufacturing yard for off-shore wind farms.

Besides business opportunities for local suppliers, the manufacturing would call upon established concrete construction methods and create a mix of skilled and semi-skilled work in the Highlands.

Ideol has teamed up with Elicio, a leading offshore wind farm developer and operator in the Belgian North Sea, and global renewable energy business BayWa r.e., to submit proposals for the ScotWind tender launched by Crown Estate Scotland under the Floating Energy Allyance consortium name.

The partnership is seen as a huge vote of confidence in the Port’s ability to help support the planned massive expansion of off-shore wind off the Scottish coast – a pipeline of development predicted to be worth over £26 billion just in the first round of 10GW development sites.

Port chief executive Bob Buskie.
Port chief executive Bob Buskie.

Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive Bob Buskie stated: “This partnership shows the vital manufacturing role the Port can play in the rapid expansion in renewable projects off Scotland’s shores. We have some of the best marine resources in the world and are in close proximity to around 14 of the 15 areas identified in the Crown Estate Scotland’s marine plan for offshore wind development.

"Thisagreement is a significant boost to the long-term future of the Port, Invergordon and the Highlands, asit looks to capitalise on the transformation of the energy market from oil and gas to renewables.”

Ideol chief executive Paul de la Guérivière commented: “This agreement is testament to our vision to build our floaters as close as possible to the off-shore installation sites and in close collaboration with thelocal communities. We have demonstrated such high local content track record in France and Japanand do not see any reason why we could not reiterate such success stories in Scotland.”



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