Minister to highlight green freeport plans during Spain trip

Trade minister Richard Lochhead is to meet business leaders during a two-day visit to Madrid.

Trade minister Richard Lochhead to highlight green freeports and hydrogen power during Spain trip PA Media

A Scottish Government minister will highlight plans to create two green freeports in Scotland when he travels to Spain for talks with possible overseas investors.

Trade minister Richard Lochhead is to meet business leaders during a two-day visit.

He will have talks with energy and renewables firms, a digital health company, a leading hotel chain planning to open its first Scottish hotel in 2025, and one of Spain’s top spirits exporters, where bosses are looking to invest in a Scottish distillery.

Lochhead’s trip will close with a meeting at Iberdrola, the Spanish company which owns Scottish Power, where talks will focus on how the firm’s green hydrogen projects align with Scotland’s net-zero ambitions.

The minister said he would be “highlighting the Scottish Government’s commitments to work with investors to develop projects that will enable large-scale, hydrogen production with export routes to Europe”.

The Scottish Government’s hydrogen action plan, published in December last year, pledged £100m in capital funding for renewable hydrogen projects.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Madrid, which starts on Tuesday, Lochhead stressed that “despite ongoing global economic headwinds, and the impacts of Brexit and Covid, Scotland continues to perform well in attracting foreign direct investment”.

He said: “My focus will be on building relationships with new and existing investors, supporting export opportunities and raising Scotland’s profile internationally.

“It will also be a chance to highlight the benefits of our new green freeports to Spanish firms looking for a base in Scotland.”

Plans jointly announced by the Scottish and UK Governments will see two of the new economic zones established on the Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth in a bid to boost innovation and growth.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code