Ardersier Port receives £300m to advance offshore wind and decommissioning initiatives

Ardersier Port receives £300m to advance offshore wind and decommissioning initiatives

The proposed transformation of the port

Ardersier Port, situated near Inverness, has received an initial £300 million investment commitment from Quantum, a US investment firm that provides private capital to the global energy industry, to fuel the port’s redevelopment into a major energy transition facility.

The funding will accelerate the deployment of offshore wind installations and the decommissioning of ageing oil and gas infrastructure in the North Sea.

Michael MacDougall, partner at Quantum, said: “Quantum is delighted to invest in this exciting next phase of development at Ardersier — a project that aligns with our mission to drive decarbonization.

“The site’s scale and geographical location mean 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.”

Redeveloping the port’s infrastructure and significantly extending its quay to realise the 450 acres of fully unutilised operating area will enable Ardersier to provide vital capacity and services to the offshore wind energy industry and the North Sea decommissioning programme which are in short supply.

The scale and project timeline for the ScotWind programme, some 28 GW of offshore generation capacity to be deployed in the next decade, demands major additional port capacity according to the Floating Wind Offshore Wind Taskforce. Clearing the North Sea of redundant oil and gas platforms will involve over 1.3 million tonnes of infrastructure being brought onshore over the next decade, according to Offshore Energies UK’s Decommissioning Insight Report 2022.

Building on Ardersier’s history, the redevelopment of the port will revive its position as a major local employer. It is anticipated that thousands of construction jobs could be created in addition to the ongoing employment opportunities for deployment, and subsequent maintenance, of the offshore wind fleet and decommissioning of redundant North Sea assets.

Steve Regan and Tony O’Sullivan, founders of Ardersier Port, said: “This investment by Quantum and securing the appointment of a CEO of Lewis’ calibre is a clear endorsement of our vision for Ardersier Port to transform a national asset into a key energy transition facility.”

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 Tony, Steve, and the team to achieve Ardersier’s potential.”

Fergus Ewing, member of the Scottish Parliament for Inverness & Nairn, said: “I warmly welcome the announcement of this major investment. The site has a long history in oil and gas fabrication. Now the investment will be in renewables.

“This will create opportunities in the Highlands, especially for young people. I welcome the commitment to work with local communities. This planned investment also further strengthens the case for dualling the A96 from Inverness to Aberdeen.”

Drew Hendry, member of Parliament for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, said: “Ardersier Port is a key site that has lain dormant for too long, so it is great news to see this commitment and such a significant investment being made, especially as it is another big contribution towards the just transition to renewables from the Highlands.

“The plans cannot be underestimated in terms of the potential for jobs and strengthening the local economy; it also further underlines the attractiveness of the Highlands as the place for the future of energy.”

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