Aberdeen Harbour welcomes the UK Government’s 10 point plan for a green ‘industrial revolution’

Aberdeen Harbour Board has welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10-Point Plan for a green 'industrial revolution', and urged Governments, both reserved and devolved, to choose Aberdeen as a sound investment to see through plans to ‘Build Back Greener’.

The team, at one of the UK’s busiest ports, has eagerly awaited the detail of this action plan that promises to produce enough clean energy to power every home in the country by 2030. Aberdeen Harbour’s own £350m South Harbour Development is a worthy partner of choice for both the Government and global investors who will want the space and facilities to support the development and maintenance of offshore wind farms over the next 10 years and beyond.

Speaking on the plans, Aberdeen Harbour Board CEO Michelle Handforth said: “A phrase that echoed in my mind when the Government said offshore wind industry plans are coming soon is tempus fugit (time flies). That has been on repeat in my head since the 6 October, when the Prime Minister set out commitments, including the promise of £160million to upgrade ports in Northern England, Wales and Scotland.

“Already one of the busiest and multi-facetted Trust Ports in the UK, we, like many other ports in Scotland, are optimistic and ready. Our £350 million expansion of Aberdeen Harbour - the largest marine infrastructure project underway in the UK - will take the port’s capabilities to a new level.

“The expanded port will have a vital role to play in the UK’s economic, energy and net-zero ambitions. However, a small window of opportunity exists to ensure that we maximise the potential of this nationally important development. The impact of this scale of investment in modern marine infrastructure will be felt at a national level, providing significant economic and environmental benefits, along with incredible opportunity. With support at this time, we can realise the true green port potential of these facilities.”

Scotland’s drive to build its wind power industry plateaued in the second half of 2019 and had plans to rectify the time lost in 2020 suffered further due to the pandemic.

“It is still unclear the extent to which Covid-19 has impacted capacity in 2020, but it is thought to be 70% (98MW) less than the 2.47GW installed last year – a bad year too by all accounts.

“With such a cavern to fill, it has never been more important to power on with plans and get the country and its ports ready to support the UK’s green industrial revolution at warp speed, because we have fewer than 10 years to meet that new targets,” added Michelle.

Heads of industry have warned that Scotland needs to quadruple its output to move away from fossil fuels completely by 2030.  Yet, Scotland is the windiest country in Europe with some of the deepest waters. The Scottish Government states on its website that the nation has more than one competitive advantage; established expertise in offshore oil and gas, a highly skilled offshore workforce and excellent port infrastructure and a strong innovation hub.

Aberdeen Harbour is part of Offshore Wind Cluster, DeepWind. The DeepWind supply chain cluster is the largest offshore wind representative body in Scotland with more than 500 members from industry, academia and the public sector. The Harbour is the main infrastructure player in this group and with its expansion plans at South Harbour, Aberdeen Harbour will play a key role in the development of offshore wind projects on the East Coast of Scotland. By 2022, the port will have the ability to become a major assembly hub for offshore and floating wind projects.

Aberdeen’s experience, infrastructure, location and supply chain reinforces the North East’s position to reach government and industry targets to reduce carbon-based energy sources and emissions. Aberdeen Harbour’s investment in South Harbour will support 15,510 jobs by 2035 and contribute £1.9billion GVA to the national economy.