Harbour could be used in offshore project

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP.
Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP.

Fraserburgh harbour have reached a landmark understanding with Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd which could see the Broch used as part of a 116MW offshore wind project.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff and Buchan, had overseen the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding last Friday, July 18, between representatives from Fraserburgh harbour, Moray Offshore Renewables (MOR), and Aberdeenshire Council.

Peter Bruce, the harbour’s covener, said: “Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners along with our strategic partners Aberdeenshire Council and North East Scotland College, supported by Scottish Enterprise are delighted with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL). The project planned for the Moray Firth has enthused the Commissioners and Officials of the port for the past few years and we have watched with increased interest at each stage of the process.

“Today’s development will allow the start of discussions with MORL’s tier one providers into the services that Fraserburgh Harbour, their partners, local businesses and the local community can provide as an operations and maintenance hub for the lifetime of the Moray Firth wind farm. The harbour boasts first class dry dock and shiplift repair facilities supported by companies offering excellent shipyard expertise. These modern facilities being an obvious benefit to vessel operators servicing turbines from the port.”

The memorandum is the second in a series which MOR will sign with ports in the Moray Firth as part of the process to develop operations and maintenance facilities for the proposed Telford, Stevenson and MacColl offshore windfarms, for which MORL was granted consent by the Scottish Government earlier this year.

“This memorandum is the second in a series of such documents which are being signed with various ports and harbours in the Moray Firth to enable us to properly consider the facilities and services, both currently available and planned, which can be used for the operation and maintenance of the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl offshore wind farms,” said Dan Finch, Project Director for MOR.

He continued: “The development of offshore wind not only brings the prospect of sustainable, low-carbon electricity, but also creates economic opportunities for the whole of the operational life of the infrastructure. We estimate that 330 jobs will be supported by operations and maintenance activities over the lifetime of the wind farms.

“The Moray Firth is able to offer a range of locations which could provide facilities for operations and maintenance activities, and this MOU will enable positive engagement between MORL and Fraserburgh Harbour to allow the fullest consideration to be given to the facilities and skills available, and enable sound future planning.”

Dr Whiteford commented: “I was delighted to witness the signing of the Memorandum at Fraserburgh Harbour today. The Harbour is a first class facility that is extremely well-placed to service renewable developments off the coast of the North of Scotland. The town more widely is positioning itself well to benefit from the renewables revolution – with the local college heavily involved in equipping future generations with the engineering skills that will be required by companies like EDRP.

“The signing of the memorandum today acknowledges Fraserburgh’s competitiveness and the expertise that is harboured here. I hope that on this basis, the two parties can now explore the potential of Fraserburgh Harbour as a base for first-class servicing of offshore renewable developments.”