Ørsted UK, Falck Renewables, and BlueFloat Energy have expressed their support for the bid to give Scottish Green Freeport status to the Cromarty Firth.
The three companies, which have secured seabed leases in the recent ScotWind round, have become members of Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF), the partnership of private, public, and academic sector bodies committed to ensuring the Highlands is home to one of Scotland’s two future Green Freeports.
OCF believes a Green Freeport in the Cromarty Firth will maximise local and Scotland-wide benefits from a massive pipeline of renewable energy projects and skilled jobs, placing the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net-zero.
This view is backed by all three global companies, who agree that awarding Green Freeport status to the Cromarty Firth is aligned with their ambitions of investing billions of pounds in developing floating offshore wind projects off the Scottish coast and boosting investment in the Scottish supply chain.
”Both the Scottish and the UK Governments have committed to ensuring that Scottish and UK companies and workers benefit from the huge boom in offshore wind in the coming years,” a spokesperson for the consortium said.
”Green Freeport status is designed to ensure that manufacturing companies are supported to set up in the region to provide jobs that would otherwise go elsewhere, probably outside of the UK.”
Falck Renewables, BlueFloat Energy, and Ørsted UK believe Scotland can successfully transition its oil and gas expertise into the floating offshore wind sector. That expertise already exists in the north of Scotland in fabrication and manufacturing facilities as well as its technological capabilities, maximising the opportunity to create a pipeline of quality jobs, the consortium said.
”The Cromarty Firth region has always been and continues to be a thriving manufacturing hub. Now with floating offshore wind, and in particular the concentration of projects off the northeast coast, Cromarty Firth offers the space to store and assemble components necessary to deploy these projects at scale. This unique set of attributes is attractive for the supply chain companies who need the confidence to invest to support the industry,” the spokesperson said.
The two leases secured by Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy in the ScotWind round are located east of Aberdeen and north of Fraserburgh, with the projects named Bellrock and Broadshore, respectively.
With Ørsted, the two companies will be developing a floating wind farm at a site east of Caithness which will be known as Stromar. The 1 GW Stromar is Ørsted’s first large-scale floating wind development project.
Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth – speaking on behalf of OCF – said:
”Through a Highlands Green Freeport, we have the opportunity and the expertise to lead the world on renewables,” Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, speaking on behalf of OCF, said.
”The clean energy sector’s importance to the Cromarty Firth, the Highlands, Scotland and beyond cannot be underestimated. These developments would help fulfil Scotland’s net zero carbon ambitions and bring skilled jobs and high-wage opportunities to the Highlands on a level not seen since the oil boom of the 1970s.”
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