Port of Nigg opens new East Quay to better service energy sector projects
Port of Nigg has made a step forward in servicing multiple large scale energy sector projects simultaneously with the opening of a new 255 metre long and 50 metre wide East Quay. This increases the port’s deepwater quayside capacity to over 1,200 metres. It also ensures the port facility has the required infrastructure in place to accommodate the demands for future floating offshore wind sector opportunities.
Speaking about the unveiling of the new quay, which has welcomed its first vessel – the Boa Sub C – which is loading out structures fabricated at Nigg for the oil and gas industry, Rory Gunn, facilities director, said, “Our new East Quay helps us better service our existing customer’s needs, in the renewables, oil and gas, and nuclear sectors, and the enhanced capabilities will assist us to attract inward investment with a vision to create long term skilled manufacturing jobs at our port which will become a National hub for the renewables industry.”
“Operationally, the additional quay and associated laydown area provides us with a lot of flexibility, and this multi million pound investment is further evidence of our commitment to ensure our facility is “best in class” for meeting both existing and future industry demands,” Gunn says.
“It will be a huge selling point for us when tendering for the next generation of floating offshore wind projects, with the additional deep-water quayside allowing us to do the fabrication and assembly of the floating hulls at the port’s South Quay area while the wind turbine integration onto the floating foundations is being conducted at the East Quay.”
Port of Nigg, a major energy industry port in Scotland
The Port of Nigg is renowned for its multi-sector capability, offering unique turnkey solutions to customers in the international energy industry. The port boasts some of the largest construction and assembly shops in Europe, a large dry dock, expansive laydown areas with high ground bearing capacity and deep water quayside. These characteristics together with their track record and skilled multi-disciplined workforce are the reasons that the port is fast becoming the principle Scottish port for supporting the Renewables industry and Scotland’s efforts towards a NET Zero economy.
Roy MacGregor, Chairman of Global Energy Group, which owns and operates the Port of Nigg, said, “I can’t underestimate what a huge benefit the new East Quay will be to the Port of Nigg and its supply chain, and what an enhancement the development is to the Cromarty Firth’s bid for Green Freeport status. The increase of our deep-water quayside capacity to over 1,200m provides the necessary infrastructure for supporting the next generation of floating offshore wind at a time when the SOWEC Report and other major studies have identified the Cromarty Firth as the only location in the UK with the physical characteristics and port facilities that could feasibly support their development.”
The multi-million-pound investment in the East Quay has been supported by Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Government. Stuart Black, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said, “The Highlands and Islands region has many natural advantages for renewable energy development and the transition to a net zero economy, and our ports and harbours have a vital role to play. Port of Nigg has been a key player in the energy sector for many years, particularly in the growth of renewables. We are very pleased to have supported the development of this new facility, which will benefit the region’s economy for many years to come.”
Marine construction works for the East Quay commenced in April 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, with construction contractor, Farrans Construction, delivering the quay on schedule and on budget. The quay will be Port of Nigg’s main quayside for shipping activities while also giving it the flexibility of having quaysides available if they take the dock dry for a major project.
At 225m long, 50m wide and offering 12m LAT water depth, the East Quay adds to the port’s Inner Dock Quay (240m), South Quay (370m), West Finger Quay (130m long, 40m wide with a berth on either side and on the end) and Terminal Jetty (which offers 22m LAT water depth).
The deep-water quayside is complemented by extensive laydown area both adjacent to the quay and within the 740,000 m2 site, as well as multiple project offices for clients, on site accommodation and a range of on-site services, including mobile and crawler cranes, stevedoring and ships agency services.
The Port is supported by a full package of on-site services from the Global Energy Group portfolio of companies, delivering fabrication, repair, maintenance, enhancement and conversion projects for the renewables, oil & gas and nuclear sectors.