Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild, of the SNP, responds to recent claims by Dundee-based MSP Jenny Marra:
The article in the Courier of February 19 by Jenny Marra MSP contains a number of inaccuracies and misrepresentations which I would welcome the opportunity to rebut.
The news of the £10m investment in the port is to be welcomed by everyone in Dundee.
As the information on the Forth Ports website makes clear, the project will add to both berthing and land capacity at the port and enable the port to handle marine projects such as offshore anchor and chain servicing, offshore wind turbine assembly and deployment activities as well as operations and maintenance due to the port’s proximity to the proposed offshore windfarm development in the Forth and Tay estuaries.
Ms Marra implies that Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government have ‘a lack of political will to make this happen’.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Dundee City Council is working closely with Forth Ports to become the service end maintenance base for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm.
This windfarm has been promoted for a number of years but it was only late in 2015 that the UK Government agreed to grant a licence.
Dundee City Council is part of a memorandum of understanding which includes Forth Ports and Scottish Enterprise to bring offshore energy jobs to Dundee. As part of this commitment the council has been instrumental in the widening and strengthening of the Stannergate bridge and the provision of lanes through a number of traffic roundabouts to facilitate transport in and out of the port area.
Without this work, Forth Ports’ £10m investment would have been unlikely to proceed.
Ms Marra largely ignores the offshore renewables in favour of recycling waste materials from oil and gas decommissioning. In doing so she appears to be confused between rigs and platforms.
Exploration rigs have been towed in and out of Dundee since the start of the Scottish offshore industry and have supported maintenance and upgrade employment in Dundee, firstly with Kestrel and currently with Rigmar.