Aberdeen Harbour is to be expanded following a £30m funding commitment from the Scottish National Investment Bank.
The loan seeks to strengthen Aberdeen’s position as a key port hub for the UK’s large-scale energy transition efforts.
Increased capacity provided by the expanded facility will also provide greater land and water for access for offshore wind developers.
Scotland’s national investment bank was launched in November, 2020, with the aim of helping innovation and meeting climate targets.
The harbour project is also funded by the European Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise, and the Aberdeen City Deal.
Eilidh Mactaggart, CEO of the Scottish National Investment Bank, explained the new facility will help to ensure that Scotland “remains at the forefront” of international marine and offshore innovation.
“The Bank is delighted to invest in Aberdeen Harbour and a project strongly aligned with its net zero and place missions,” she said.
“The South Harbour project is a critical platform for the just transition in Scotland, delivering a high-specification facility which will shape industry in Aberdeen for decades to come and provide valuable space, as well as water access, for both offshore wind supply chain providers and offshore wind developers.
“The expanded port has been designed to accommodate larger, wider, and deeper vessels, while providing land-side facilities for the expansion of the offshore wind industry.
“The new facility will ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of international marine and offshore innovation for decades to come.”
Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, expressed his gratitude to the bank for the commitment made to the project.
“The Scottish National Investment Bank has recognised the value and importance of the expanded Aberdeen Harbour as a critical asset in the future of Scotland’s industries, and we would like to thank them for their commitment to the project,” he said.
“The port will provide customers and port users with scalable and flexible infrastructure, making it ideal for space-intense industries such as offshore wind, decommissioning, cargo and cruise.
“We are months away from opening our South Harbour expansion and look forward to beginning operational trials in the port at the end of the summer.”
Finance secretary Kate Forbes indicated that such an investment is “exactly why” the government established the bank.
“The £30m investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank is extremely significant and welcomed news,” said Forbes.
“This high-quality commercial investment will support the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour and has the potential to underpin Aberdeen and the North East region’s role in securing a just transition to net zero by 2045.
“As well as supporting greener energy production, this will also help us deliver the type of harbour infrastructure needed to help us capitalise on the huge economic potential of Scotwind.”
She added: “This type of investment is exactly why we established the Bank, demonstrating the value of the Bank and its commercial skill set as part of the public sector.
“The Scottish Government is committed to doing all we can to seize Scotland’s economic potential, and the Bank will play a vital role in attracting new investment in our economy and realising our potential.”