Kishorn Dry Dock will come out of a 23 year long hibernation after an agreement was signed to use the site during the construction of the world’s largest floating wind farm.
The deal between Kishorn Port Ltd and Kincardine Offshore – where former Liberal MSP, and now Lord, Nicol Stephen is a director – means work will start at the site in August, with the first turbine of the 50MW array expected to be in the water in the 2Q2018.
Last used to work on the Skye Bridge in 1994, the dry-dock is one of the largest in Western Europe and will now be used to help build the floating turbines for Kincardine Offshore’s development of eight turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast.
The agreement with Kincardine Offshore will see Kishorn Port used for the fabrication of the semi-spar substructure for the 6MW turbines, which will operate 15km off the coast of Kincardineshire.
When in operation, the development will prevent 94,500 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere every year and will generate enough electricity to power almost 56,000 homes. Once completed, power from Kincardine Offshore will be brought ashore to an Aberdeen operations centre and will connect to the grid at Redmoss sub-station.
Kishorn Port was historically an oil and gas fabrication yard, used for the casting of the 600,000-tonne Ninian Central platform in the late 1970s. The last time the port’s two 13,000 tonne dock gates were moved was in 1994, when the two concrete foundation caissons for the Skye Bridge were floated out.
Carlos Barat, Kincardine Offshore project director, said: “This is a significant development for the people of Kishorn and will directly lead to the creation of up to 200 much-needed jobs in the area.
“This agreement to use Kishorn dry-dock will herald a new era for offshore renewables and, of course, for this area as the terrific potential this facility offers the country is realised.”
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Energy Minister, commented: “Both fixed and floating offshore wind technologies are set to take an increasingly important role in the generation of Scottish renewable electricity.
“With 25% of Europe’s offshore wind potential, and through development with due regard to our natural environment, Scotland is strongly positioned to maximise the economic and environmental benefits that both technologies can deliver.
“The Scottish Government is determined to ensure projects deliver supply chain jobs in communities across Scotland and we have been encouraging developers to do all they can to maximise their economic impact, so this agreement is very welcome.”