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Tuesday 11th Mar 2014
at 05:04 and 17:50 GMT
The Pentland Firth is one of the most concentrated tidal resources on earth. This tidal resource is seen as a unique opportunity for the establishment of a significant and sustainable marine renewable energy industry in Caithness. The opportunity has the potential to put the industry on the leading edge of development of tidal energy generation, and could be used as a key driver in stimulating socio-economic growth for Caithness and North Sutherland. Scrabster’s strategic location at the entrance to the Pentland Firth together with the ports established track record, 24 / 7 access and development plans make Scrabster an attractive business location for marine renewable operations.
Scrabster Harbour Trust is eager to gain access to the renewable energy market and to attract new business. The services and comprehensive facilities offered by Scrabster makes it an ideal location to support renewable activities. The port has already received significant interest from the renewable energy sector.
Offshore companies and major sub sea & service contractors have already realised the huge benefits to be gained from utilising the port, with access available at any state of tide, without delays. Stevedoring & plant hire, with modern craneage up to 350 tonnes, is available locally. Lay down areas and warehousing are also available within the harbour boundaries. Water and fuel supplies are at hand and quayside space is available. A full range of engineering services is available locally to meet the requirements of renewable operators and developers.
Growth prospects in the energy sector are driving future expansion of the port. The Trust announced in September 2007 a £20 million blueprint for infrastructure developments to service the needs of the offshore oil, gas and renewable sectors. The works will enhance Scrabster’s ability to accommodate the increased demand from oil supply traffic and the marine logistics required to support development both on the Atlantic Frontier but also marine renewable activity in the Pentland Firth. The first stage of the planned developments, scheduled for completion in 2012, will deliver an additional 11,500m2 of pier side laydown area and enhanced heavy lifting facilities. The expansion plans will be supported by the strategic acquisition of 32 acres of land zoned for industrial use close by to the port. This acquisition, completed in April 2008, will compliment the current and planned quayside infrastructure available at the port.
The port, working in partnership with the Caithness Chamber of Commerce, is promoting Caithness as the ideal location for Marine renewable energy development. In addition the port is a founder member of the Caithness Energy Alliance. The alliance brings together well-established engineering, technology and service support businesses, and R&D and skills training facilities, targeting all aspects of both on shore and marine renewable energy markets. By working together the Alliance aims to publicise the advantages of Caithness, with its renewable energy resources, industrial track record, skills pool, willingness to work in partnership and a great environment for living and working.