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Montrose Port hopes to play major role in next generation wind farms

Tom Hutchison, chief executive Montrose Port Authority
Tom Hutchison, chief executive Montrose Port Authority

Montrose Port plans to become a key hub for offshore wind projects after the latest £700m leasing round.

This week’s ScotWind auction by Crown Estate Scotland allocated 17 seabed plots.

Together they have the potential to generate vast amounts of capacity – around 25GW if all come to fruition. This is well above the expected auction outcome of 10GW.

Montrose Port believes it is well placed to benefit as the projects move forward.

Montrose Port hopes for offshore wind

The Angus port already hosts the operation and maintenance base for the Seagreen offshore wind project.

This has seen millions invested in infrastructure and a skilled workforce develop in Angus.

Tom Hutchison, chief executive of Montrose Port Authority, said the ScotWind licence awards was a “huge milestone” for Scotland’s energy transition.

He said it put Scotland at the forefront of offshore wind.

An aerial view of Montrose Port
An aerial view of Montrose Port

He said: “These 17 new projects situated around the Scottish coast open up a wealth of opportunities for all our country’s ports and Montrose in particular.

“We want to continue to grow and become a hub for offshore wind in the North Sea.

“We know we are ideally positioned to service offshore wind developments.

“Now we look forward to having the opportunity to speak to the successful bidders about how we can support them.”

Skills learned on Seagreen project

Mr Hutchison, who was appointed to the role in 2019, said the port has learned invaluable lessons during the construction of the Seagreen base.

A key element is an understanding of what skills for oil and gas clients were transferrable.

He is hopeful the next generation of offshore wind developments will boost the north east economy.

He said: “Offshore wind gives new opportunities for businesses and individuals across the north east of Scotland.

“It can ensure a vibrant future for the local economy and supply chain which we are delighted to facilitate.

Breaking ground on Seagreen operations and maintenance base at Port of Montrose in 2019- Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon, Angus MP Dave Doogan, Montrose Port Authority chief executive Captain Tom Hutchison and Andy Kay, SSE.
Breaking ground on Seagreen operations and maintenance base at Port of Montrose in 2019- Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon, Angus MP Dave Doogan, Montrose Port Authority chief executive Captain Tom Hutchison and Andy Kay, SSE.

“Despite the difficulties of the past two years, it is great to be able to show that our port and indeed the whole Angus region is open for business.”

Meanwhile Montrose Port Authority is investigating several initiatives to push forward our own green strategy.

The chief executive said it was “trying to think outside the box so we can make a real impact”.

What is ScotWind?

Organised by Crown Estate Scotland, ScotWind is the mechanism that allows developers to secure areas of seabed that can then be turned into offshore wind farms.

A total of 74 bids were submitted. While many contenders have been left disappointed, Holyrood has committed to more leasing rounds in the near future.

Billions of pounds will be invested by companies in the next few years and big wins expected for the domestic supply chain.

Fife firm Horisk provided the tech platform for the auction process.

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