According to the Port of Ardesier the plan is to transform the 400 acres vacant site into a manufacturing, assembly and operations and maintenance base for new offshore wind fields off Scotland’s east coast.
With a 1km deep-water quay, the vacant 160-hectare site, 15 miles east of Inverness, is estimated to take up a significant amount of £70-80bn UK offshore wind construction market.
The offshore yard created more than 3000 engineering jobs at its peak building oil platforms. However in 2002 a decision was made to close it completely down.
A provisional agreement was given by planners in 2006 to create a housing and leisure complex including a marina on the site.
Currently, the site owners are expecting the green light from the Scottish government and its regulators Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland for the offshore elements of the site.
In a few weeks time the consent could be granted, which could lead to a potential jobs boom for the Highlands.
Port of Ardersier Chief Executive Officer Captain, Stephen Gobbi, said:”This is a significant milestone for the port. Once all consents are in place we will be able to undertake major dredging which could enable the port to be open for business this year.
“There are few other deep water ports in the UK, or indeed Europe, which offer this quality and quantity of vacant land, a 1000 metre deep water quay and proximity to the major offshore wind development zones in the North Sea.
“We are continuing to work closely with Transport Scotland and Marine Scotland to ensure we secure the harbour revision order and marine licence which will unlock the incredible potential of this unique site.”
Photo: Construction Enquirer