A Dundee bid to become a green port will be led by Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) instead of the port itself.
Green ports are the Scottish equivalent of a freeport, which gives companies in enterprise zones beneficial tax arrangements.
Forth Ports, owner of the Port of Dundee, is leading a bid for the Port of Leith, which will include part of the Firth of Forth and Fife.
However, the Dundee bid will be led by MSIP with support from Dundee City Council. An expression of interest was made to the Scottish Government ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Forth Ports said there is limited land available at Port of Dundee, where a £40 million investment is taking place to attract offshore wind and decommissioning work.
It supports the Dundee bid, but would struggle to house companies attracted to the city by the green port status.
Meanwhile MSIP is in the process of finding tenants for the former Michelin tyre factory.
‘Best course of action’ for Dundee bid
Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond publicly revealed plans for the Dundee bid last September.
He said the company stood “shoulder to shoulder” with the Dundee bid.
He said: “Along with key stakeholders in the city we have spent considerable time and resource in assessing what is the best course of action for the City of Dundee in pursuing a green port bid.
“It has become clear that such a bid needs to focus on the strengths of the Michelin Scotland Innovation Park (MSIP) and the wider city rather than on the port, where there is limited land available due to the offshore wind and North Sea oil and gas decommissioning activity that we expect to see there.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with MSIP and Dundee City Council and will be publicly supporting Dundee’s bid.”
Benefits of Dundee green port status
Companies operating within freeports can defer paying taxes until their products move elsewhere.
They can avoid them altogether if they bring in goods to store or manufacture on site before exporting them again.
The Scottish Government want green ports to achieve five key objectives:
- promote regeneration and job creation through inclusive and sustainable growth
- establish hubs for global trade and investment
- contribute to a just transition to a net zero economy
- drive fair work practice
- foster an innovative environment
Ambitions for Dundee green port
MSIP wants to replace the 850 jobs lost when the Michelin tyre factory closed with sustainable transport and mobility jobs.
Its chief executive Greig Coull said Dundee will make a strong bid and outlined the benefits.
“Having green port status would provide a significant advantage to MSIP and the companies that will locate here,” he said.
“It would allow for a logistical smooth process and avoid any difficulties that may emerge in the distribution process and it would also boost local business and jobs.
“Our strategic priorities are fully aligned with the Scottish Government’s agenda to create inclusive economic growth, to support a green economic recovery and to deliver net zero within one generation by 2045.
“Having a green port in Dundee, with MSIP as the lead operator, would enable us to deliver on those ambitions.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council added: “We are happy to be supporting the MSIP bid for the city.”