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£40 million to be invested in Port of Dundee after wind farm contract win

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports.
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports.

Around £40 million will be invested into the Port of Dundee over the next three years in the wake of a major wind farm contract win.

Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond said the spend on port infrastructure was an investment in Dundee’s future in the renewables and decommissioning markets.

On Friday the port was selected as the base for the assembly of all 54 turbines for EDF Renewables’ Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm.

Forth Ports’ £40m investment will go towards two new quaysides in Dundee and resurfacing of between 25 and 40 acres of land.

Mr Hammond said: “The wind farm contract win has helped the £40m investment but it is really down to our belief in the long term markets for both offshore wind and decommissioning.

“When you start to look at the pipeline of work in both these markets, hopefully this isn’t a short term pipeline but one that will give 10 years of work or more.

“The infrastructure of the whole port is being modernised.

“It will include more quayside capacity, strengthening of existing quayside, surfacing work and a new logistics warehouse.”

Mr Hammond said at its peak the work to assemble the huge wind turbines before they are sailed to their location on the Firth of Forth will require at least 20 acres of land at the Port of Dundee.

“It’s fantastic news for the port and the city,” he added.

“From our point of view the will start next year building another quayside and the surfacing of the land.

“The supply chain will start to mobilise and get ready.

“Activity will build up from there until there is a shipping programme in and out for the component parts.

“Dundee has a good skills base and many firms will benefit.”

Mr Hammond said a £10m investment by Forth Ports in a quay extension two years ago had given confidence and “long term belief” in the Dundee port.

Since then the port has built up its supply chain for decommissioning and renewables work.

“We have been increasingly successful at attracting work and I’m very proud of my team in Dundee and at the head office for pulling it together,” Mr Hammond.

Fife firm BiFab was also a big winner out of Friday’s NnG wind farm announcement. They will manufacture at least eight foundation jackets – used to anchor the turbines to the seabed.

It could mean around 200 workers returning to the firm’s Methil site.

rmclaren@thecourier.co.uk

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