Ardersier Port has received an initial £300 million investment from Quantum Energy Partners to facilitate offshore wind projects in the region.
The port, which is located just outside Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, received the equity investment from the US energy investment firm in a bid to transform the area into a major energy transition facility.
The funds will help redevelop the port and unlock its potential to support the deployment of offshore wind installations and the decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the North Sea.
Quantum confirmed that the redevelopment is set to occur on 450 acres of fully unutilised operating area at the port. This will be achieved by extending its quay.
“Quantum is delighted to invest in this exciting next phase of development at Ardersier – a project that aligns with our mission to drive decarbonisation,” said Michael MacDougall, partner at Quantum Energy Partners.
“The site’s scale and geographical location means it is ideally positioned to become a leading European hub for offshore renewable energy. Lewis Gillies brings exceptional knowledge and experience, and cares deeply about the energy transition opportunity ahead for Scotland and the UK.”
The Ardersier Port redevelopment will support the scale and project timeline of the ScotWind programme with its capacity having recently increased to 27.6GW over the next decade. In particular, clearing aged oil and gas assets in the North Sea can support the creation of additional space for offshore renewable generation and bolster the Scottish offshore wind sector.
Lewis Gillies, CEO of Haventus, Ardersier Port’s parent company, said: “It is a privilege to be asked to take on the role of CEO. The investment will bring jobs and growth to the Highlands economy. Ardersier will provide a vital facility for the deployment of the offshore wind industry and enable the domestic decommissioning of redundant oil and gas assets.
“I am delighted to return to Scotland to lead this important project and look forward to working with the team to achieve Ardersier’s potential.”
Scotland has been receiving support for the transition of its ports to low-carbon technologies to facilitate the energy transition. In mid-January 2023, The UK Government announced two new green freeports were to receive £52 million in capital. These were in Inverness and Cromarty Firth and Firth of Forth.
Green Freeports have been classified as areas which incorporate a range of technologies in a bid to boost innovation and inclusive growth within communities contributing to the creation of green jobs. Fundamentally, these also support economic transformation.
Following a joint assessment process, both the Forth Green Freeport and the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport projects had each received a grant of up to £26 million to be delivered over the coming years. This funding is said to directly address infrastructure gaps currently holding back investment in the regions.
Both Green Freeports are expected to become operational in late 2023.
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