Aberdeen Harbour has today confirmed that it will go ahead with its £350 million plan to expand into Nigg Bay, with construction partner Dragados UK due to start work in Spring 2017.
An independent cost-benefit analysis estimates that the development will generate an additional £1 billion per annum to the economy by 2035, and will create an additional 7,000 equivalent jobs.
The new facilities will include 1,400 metres of new quay, with a water depth of up to 10.5 metres and will create an additional 125,000 square metres of lay-down area
The historic harbour will be transformed to accommodate larger vessels, opening up potential new revenue streams and offering customers world-class marine support facilities.
The significant investment will bring jobs and business to Aberdeen, supporting the local and national economy.
An Aberdeen Harbour Board spokesman said: “After six years of detailed planning and extensive consultation with our many stakeholders and the regulatory authorities, we are now delighted to approve commencement of construction.
“The expansion will afford existing customers the opportunity to diversify and expand their interests, whilst attracting new customers and markets to the port, including up-scaled decommissioning activity, a more significant share of the available cruise vessel fleet and larger more cost-effective commercial vessels”.
The development – a Scottish Government National Planning Framework Project which is scheduled to be completed by 2020 – was welcomed by Humza Yousaf, MSP, Scottish Transport Minister.
He said: “This is excellent news for Aberdeen and the Scottish maritime industry, as the signing of the construction contract means this nationally significant project can now get underway in earnest.
“These are exciting times for Aberdeen Harbour. I wish everyone involved in the project every success and I very much look forward to following the expansion as it progresses.”
Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank – which is a lender to the project – commented: “Continued investment at Europe’s leading ports is essential to improve infrastructure and to cater for ever-changing shipping needs.
“The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the transformational Nigg Bay development that will significantly increase quayside space, allow deep-water access for larger vessels and ensure Aberdeen’s continued strong contribution to the Scottish economy.”