200 Scots energy jobs expected from rebirth of historic shipyard and floating windfarm

Kishorn Dry Dock will come out of a 23-year hibernation after an agreement was signed to use the site during the construction of the world’s largest floating windfarm

TWO HUNDRED new energy jobs will come from the construction of a new eight-machine floating windfarm being proposed just off the Aberdeenshire coast by Kishorn Port Ltd and Kincardine Offshore.

The project will also see the reopening and renovation of the Kishorn Dry Dock which has lain dormant for 23 years.

Construction will start this August and will see the first 6 megawatt (MW) turbine launched in the autumn of 2018. Once in operation, the 50 MW development will prevent 94,500 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere every year.

“The agreement to use Kishorn dry-dock will herald a new era for offshore renewables and, of course, for this area as the terrific potential this facility offers the country is realised.” Carlos Barat

Carlos Barat, director of the Kishorn project, said: “This is a significant development for the people of Kishorn and will directly lead to the creation of up to 200 much-needed jobs in the area. We are proud that we are able to support local business as we progress towards bringing this important development forward. The agreement to use Kishorn dry-dock will herald a new era for offshore renewables and, of course, for this area as the terrific potential this facility offers the country is realised.”

Kishorn Port was once an oil and gas fabrication yard, used for the casting of the 600,000-tonne Ninian Central platform during the 1970s. 1994 was the last time the port’s two 13,000 tonne dock gates were open, when the two concrete foundations for the Skye Bridge were floated out.

The agreement additionally paves the way for the turbines to eventually provide enough electricity to power almost 56,000 homes.

“It is great to see Kishorn coming to life again. The dock has huge potential, not just for renewables, but for oil and gas and aquaculture too.” Robert Muir

Simon Russell, a director of Kishorn Port Limited, said: “In signing this deal, Kincardine has demonstrated the significant strategic and technical strength of Kishorn’s dry dock. The combination of Leith’s on-site quarry at Kishorn with one of the largest dry docks in Western Europe makes the yard an ideal location for manufacturing large concrete structures.

“This, combined with the expertise of Ferguson Transport and Shipping in operating and managing the port, will breathe new life into an area that has suffered for many years from a lack of commercial investment.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) which invested over £150,000 of the £450,000 costs of upgrading the dry dock, spoke of the “rebirth” of the dock as a new beginning for industry that could be profitable and sustainable.

Robert Muir, HIE’s area manager for Skye, Lochaber and Wester Ross, added: “It is great to see Kishorn coming to life again. The dock has huge potential, not just for renewables, but for oil and gas and aquaculture too. The site will provide valuable rural jobs and contribute to both economic and community growth, and wider competitiveness of the region. We very much welcome this milestone today.”

Once the windfarm is completed, the power it generates will be brought ashore to an Aberdeen operations centre and connected by subsea cable to the grid at Redmoss sub-station.

Picture courtesy of L. C. Nottasen

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