Princess Royal officially opens new £50m Port of Cromarty Firth expansion on visit to Ross-shire
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HRH The Princess Royal visited the Port of Cromarty Firth on Tuesday where she unveiled a plaque officially naming the new £50m expansion as Quay West.
The Princess Royal was welcomed aboard the pilot boat Dalmore for a tour of the Cromarty Firth and the Port’s facilities, before meeting staff and board members.
Quay West, which is made up of two new berths, offers a 372m quayside and an open laydown area of over 80,000sqm, making it one of the largest port laydown facilities of its kind in the UK. It is considered an ideal facility for future offshore renewable projects.
The site will be able to accommodate the largest offshore wind components, such as turbine blades, tower sections and foundations - which in recent years have all dramatically grown in size - as well as the biggest offshore support and cruise vessels.
Bob Buskie, Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive, said: “We are delighted HRH The Princess Royal could join us to officially name our latest expansion and at the same time tour our facilities to see first-hand our ambitious vision and commitment to securing the port for future generations.”
During her guided tour Princess Anne, who is Chief Commandant of Women in the Royal Navy, also visited the Queen’s Dock, which had been officially opened in 1987 by The Queen.
Port board member, Commodore Graham Peach, and strategic business development manager, Joanne Allday, who were delighted to be tour guides for the Royal visit, spoke about the Firth’s rich naval and energy history. This highlighted the port’s journey serving the region and Scotland over the past four decades as a Trust Port, generating £275 million a year and supporting one in six jobs in the Invergordon area.
They also spoke about the port’s local supply chain as well as its future ambition to become a strategic national renewable energy hub and Freeport Zone. Cromarty Firth has already developed a substantial track record in renewables and supported more offshore wind projects than any other Scottish location.
Before leaving the port and while following COVID-19 guidelines, The Princess Royal spent time talking to staff and was presented with gifts from local shops, florists and distilleries.
Bob Buskie added: “Thanks must be given to all those involved in organising this fantastic event, particularly the Lord-Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Mrs Joanie Whiteford, and her predecessor, Mrs Janet Bowen CVO, who worked incredibly hard to make this visit happen.”