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Nigg yard expansion plans may create jobs boost for Highlands


By Andrew Dixon


The Nigg yard.
The Nigg yard.

A MAJOR Highland employer has announced multi-million pound plans to expand its facilities in a move it says could create more jobs.

The Global Energy Group is set to improve facilities at its flagship facility at Nigg.

The Port of Nigg has become an important hub for both the oil and gas and offshore renewables markets in recent years.

The firm believes its additional investment and enhancement of the facilities "will help to generate further job opportunities within the Cromarty Firth and bring further economic benefit into the area".

Global has invested £50 million since taking ownership of the Nigg yard back in 2011 when it embarked upon developing and improving the facilities, including the new South Quay development and the additional deep water quayside space which was completed in 2015.

It says the necessary studies and impact assessments are currently under way as required for the planning application process in creating additional quayside on the east side of the yard.

This new quay will be 250 metres in length and will offer deep water berths to increase the berthing capacity at the existing

facilities.

Rory Gunn, facilities director at Nigg Energy Park, said: "Since we took over the yard, we have continually listened to our clients' requirements and sought opportunities to expand and grow. We are the first port in Scotland to successfully conduct marshalling activities for an offshore wind project with the ongoing Beatrice Project, and during this period we have seen demands for quayside space which exceed our current infrastructure capabilities. The new east quay will allow us to better service our existing customers and attracting new ones".

It said that in addition to quay expansion works currently being conducted by the Port of Cromarty Firth in Invergordon, "it is encouraging to see that both facilities are growing to support existing market opportunities and attract new ones".

Public consultation meetings will be held at both Nigg and Cromarty later in March to discuss the east quay plans.

The Port of Cromarty Firth is also investing heavily in its facilities in Invergordon.

Cromarty Firth chief executive Bob Buskie said: "This investment announcement is further evidence of the long -erm investment strategy being played out within the Cromarty Firth to help secure business opportunities, jobs and prosperity for the many companies and people living and working in the north of Scotland.

"The Port of Cromarty Firth welcomes the news. This announcement comes on the back of recent success being enjoyed

throughout the Cromarty Firth which is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by the companies based here who are totally committed to the local area.

“When complete, the total investment over five years between Global Energy Group at Nigg Energy Park and the Port of Cromarty Firth in Invergordon will be in excess of £100 million. These significant investments allow the Port to attract new customers, win additional projects and secure contracts which will benefit local companies and local workers. By working together we’re experiencing even greater growth and winning multi-million pound contracts against competition from ports across Europe.

"The additional quayside infrastructure at Nigg Energy Park combined with our own in Invergordon reinforces the Port’s role as a strategic asset for Scotland and the UK."



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