Scottish Enterprise awards funds for Aberdeen Harbour expansion

Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise will contribute £11.7 million ($15.3 M) towards Aberdeen Harbour’s £350 million ($457.4 M) expansion, supporting the creation of 2,300 jobs by 2026.

According to Scotish Enteprise, Aberdeen Harbour was established as a business by King David I in 1136. That earns it a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest existing business in Britain.

The Scottish Government said in an announcement on Monday that the project, due to be completed in 2020, would provide enhanced facilities and capacity to the oil industry and help capitalize on Scotland’s growing cruise tourism and renewables markets.

SE funding is adding to support from the European Investment Bank and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils via Aberdeen City Region Deal which are providing a loan of up to £175 million and support of up to £11 million.

The harbor was visited by the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. During the visit, she said: “Aberdeen Harbour is Scotland’s main oil and gas port and one of Europe’s leading marine support centers 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 maximize opportunities from the growing cruise tourism and renewables sectors.”

CEO of Aberdeen Harbour, Colin Parker, 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.”

It is worth mentioning that the Aberdeen Harbour plans to expand facilities into Nigg Bay, to the south of the existing harbor, were given a go ahead in late December 2016.

Scotish Enterprise has shared some quick facts about Aberdeen Harbour:

Aberdeen Harbour quick facts

  • Established in 1136 – Britain’s oldest company
  • £350 million expansion will create 2300 jobs by 2026
  • Scottish Enterprise funding of £11.7 million
  • Over 5600 oil and gas vessels in 2014, 50 years since the industry first used the port
  • Over 195,000 oil and gas vessels have used Aberdeen Harbour since 1964

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