aberdeen-harbour-expansion-670-441The £350 million expansion of Aberdeen Harbour took a step forward today with the announcement that Scottish Enterprise is to contribute £11.7m towards the project.

Due for completion in 2020, the expansion will provide enhanced facilities and capacity for the oil industry and helping to capitalise on growing tourism and renewables markets.

Up to 2,300 jobs are said to be created by the project.

The Scottish Enterprise contribution to the project is in addition to a loan of up to £175m from the European Investment Bank. Support of up to £11m has also been provided by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils via the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Welcoming the funding during a visit to the harbour today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Aberdeen Harbour is Scotland’s main oil and gas port and one of Europe’s leading marine support centres for offshore energy. This funding will open up significant opportunities to diversify and exploit the rapid growth in cruise tourism and the renewables markets in Scotland.

“We are already seeing Scottish-based firms seizing decommissioning opportunities, and we are committed to supporting Scottish industry to win further valuable contracts. That’s why we developed a Decommissioning Plan last year, and have since launched the £5 million Decommissioning Challenge Fund.”

Scottish Enterprise director of energy, Maggie McGinlay, said: “The Aberdeen Harbour expansion project is strategically important to the growth of Scotland’s economy. A recent impact assessment study confirms the project will not only help sustain growth in the oil and gas sector, but will also help to maximise opportunities from the growing cruise tourism and renewables sectors.”

Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour, added: “This funding is immensely significant. It further demonstrates recognition of this strategic project as one of national and international importance. The facilities developed will transform the port’s ability to accommodate the trend for larger vessels we are witnessing across a whole range of industries, thereby encouraging commercial diversification and future-proofing the port’s ability to support large scale marine operations.”