Montrose Port is set to be the operations base for a second major wind farm project, creating more than 50 jobs.
Inch Cape offshore wind farm has selected the Angus port for its 72 turbine project.
The base will see an initial £5.2 million investment and create up to 56 permanent jobs including turbine technicians, asset managers and office staff.
This is the second major wind farm win for Montrose Port, which was also chosen for the operations base for the Seagreen offshore wind farm.
Work on that base started in December 2020 and created 60 jobs.
The 1,075MW Seagreen project is located 16 miles off the coast of Angus.
Work to begin next year if bid successful
The Inch Cape offshore wind farm is owned by Red Rock Power and ESB and planned to be 10km off the Angus coast.
It has applied to the UK Government for a long-term energy contract.
The results of the Contracts for Difference allocation round are expected this summer.
If successful, this will trigger an 18-month multi-million-pound investment programme in the Angus port.
Initial work on the infrastructure upgrade will begin in 2023 with the construction of offices and warehouse at the port’s South Quay.
A dedicated pontoon for crew transfer vessels travelling to and from the Inch Cape site will also be constructed.
Dock side cranes and a communications mast will also be installed, with the latest technologies in vessel fuelling being considered as an additional investment.
Works are expected to be complete and the base operational by early 2025.
That will coincide with the commissioning of the first turbines.
Montrose’s aim to be ‘go-to port’
Last month’s ScotWind auction by Crown Estate Scotland allocated 17 seabed plots.
Montrose Port chief executive Captain Tom Hutchison believes it is well positioned to benefit from the raft of upcoming offshore wind projects.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome Inch Cape to Montrose as part of our growing offshore wind portfolio.
“We aim to become the go-to port for the industry.
“We believe that with our geographical position, deep water berths, and sheltered quays we are ideally placed to do so.”
He said the port was driven to develop its offering to benefit the “community of stakeholders”.
“We have already started to see the benefits offshore wind can bring to our regional economy.
“We are proud to be championing Montrose and the wider Angus region as a bastion for green energy.”
Montrose Port a ‘key element’ in Inch Cape project
Inch Cape project director Adam Ezzamel said the new base would make Montrose a key element in the wind farm.
He added: “If we succeed in the current contracts for difference round, Inch Cape will deliver millions of pounds of new investment.”
He said the investment would extend far beyond Montrose.
It would, Mr Ezzamel said, help support local communities and a transition to a greener economy.
“The UK is already a world leader in offshore wind.
“This project would increase this lead – delivering long-term skilled jobs and enough electricity to power more than a million homes.”
Economic benefits of offshore wind projects
The decision was marked by a visit to Montrose Port by local MSP Mairi Gougeon.
The cabinet secretary for rural affairs met senior figures from Inch Cape and Montrose Port.
Ms Gougeon said: “Montrose Port has long played an important role in supporting Scotland’s offshore energy sector.
“The investment will help it become a major facility supporting our just transition towards a net zero economy.”