“This project is not just hugely significant for Montrose but for Angus and the wider North-East economy.”
Construction work has started on the operations and maintenance (O&M) base at Montrose Port which will service the Seagreen offshore wind farm.
Scotland’s largest offshore construction project to date will create up to 60 jobs based at the Port, as well as a further 60 on MHI Vestas offshore service operations vessel.
Montrose Port was selected by SSE Renewables as the preferred location for its O&M base for the 114-turbine development in October last year, bringing investment and jobs to the local area for the 25-year life of the project.
What does the work involve?
Located at the Port’s South Quay, the base will include two storey operations building, repurposed warehouse, 50m high communications mast, and a pontoon for crew transfer vessels travelling to the Seagreen site.
Work on the operations building and repurposed warehouse is being undertaken by Montrose-based contractor Pert Bruce, which recently announced that up to 30 jobs for the duration of the contract which is scheduled to take around a year.
Further contracts for the communication mast and pontoon are yet to be awarded.
Significant milestone for Montrose
Chief executive of Montrose Port Authority Captain Tom Hutchison said: “This is a significant milestone for Montrose and we’re delighted to see work started on the base.
“This 25-year commitment from Seagreen will ensure the ongoing investment and redevelopment of our existing facilities at the Port in line with our remit as a Trust Port.
“It also demonstrates our consistently flexible approach and long-term diversification strategy, as well as offering an outstanding opportunity for the local supply network.”
What is the Seagreen wind farm project?
The 1,075MW Seagreen project is located 27km off the coast of Angus.
A £3bn joint venture between SSE Renewables and Total, Seagreen will be Scotland’s single largest source of renewable energy, providing a significant contribution to Scotland’s net-zero ambition and enough clean, renewable energy to power 1.3 million homes.
The wind farm will also support a £1.8 million community benefit fund which will be divided between six community councils.
Andy Kay from SSE Renewables said: “This is a landmark moment for our base at Montrose Port and for all the team involved in delivering the Seagreen Offshore Wind project.
“SSE Renewables is committed to supporting the local economy so this is good news for all the businesses in Montrose and Angus who will benefit from the construction and ultimately, the opening of the base in a few years’ time.”
Jobs and opportunities
Local politicians have welcomed the major step forward.
Angus MP Dave Doogan said: “This latest milestone in the Seagreen project is very positive and brings to life the extraordinary opportunity for Angus to get in at the front end of the massive offshore wind industry.
“I look forward to seeing the completed facility and the many jobs and opportunities that will come with it.”
Mairi Gougeon, minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment and MSP for Angus North and Mearns added: “This project is not just hugely significant for Montrose but for Angus and the wider North-East economy, with a long-term commitment from Seagreen that will bring jobs and investment to the area.
“Offshore renewables will play a vital role in Scotland’s green recovery and in achieving our net-zero ambitions, and it’s fantastic to see Montrose at the forefront of this exciting sector.”
Major investments in recent years at Montrose Port
Established in 1493, Montrose Port has developed over the centuries to establish its reputation as a leading centre of international trade and distribution throughout Scotland and northern England.
Offering around 1000 metres of quayside on both the north and south side of the Harbour, Montrose Port provides a sheltered haven almost half a mile long.
Port facilities include water berths to a depth of 8 metres, 130,000m2 of open storage, 42,000m2 warehousing and over 2,000m2 of office space.
Since 2011 the Port has invested over £22m in quayside developments on both the South and North side. £7.7m redevelopment of berth 7 & 8 on the North Quay commenced in July 2018 and was completed in November 2019.
Montrose Port Authority signed a seven-year extension to its contract with Baker Hughes for the provision of internal and external storage facilities earlier this year.