Work starts on Ardersier Port transformation
Work starts on £20 million capital dredge to reopen the port.
• Plans include:
o A dedicated 34ha floating wind manufacturing hub for concrete foundations in exclusive partnership with BW Ideol
o An oil rig decommissioning facility
o A £300 million ‘green steel’ mill, the UK’s first new steelworks in 50 years
o A concrete production plant
• This will create Europe’s first fully circular Energy Transition Facility which will:
o Recycle dredged sand as aggregate for concrete production
o Recycle steel from decommissioned oil rigs as reinforcement for concrete floating wind foundations
o Generate energy from waste
o Power a steel mill with green power from offshore wind
o Deliver 100 percent UK content
o Create thousands of jobs by 2030
In the 1970s Ardersier – a vast and currently unused port 14 miles east of Inverness – was one of the largest oil rig fabrication yards in the world, employing up to 4500 workers. At over 400 acres (162ha) and with more than a kilometre of quayside, Ardersier is the largest brownfield port in the UK.
Now new owners are transforming Ardersier Port into Europe’s first fully circular Energy Transition Facility – recycling the oil rigs of the past to make foundations for future fleets of floating offshore windfarms. It is anticipated thousands of long-term jobs will follow.
Work is about to begin on a £20 million, nine-month ‘capital dredge’ – removing 2.5 million cubic metres of sand (equivalent to 1000 Olympic swimming pools) – which will open up the massive port once more.
Over the next five years the port’s owners will deliver:
- an oil rig decommissioning facility,
- a waste from energy recovery facility designed specifically to deal with special wastes
- a £300 million green steel plant, powered by offshore wind and energy from waste
- a concrete production plant utilising dredged sand from the port, and by products from the steel plant and energy from waste facility
- a dedicated floating wind hub for concrete floating wind foundation manufacturing.
This will create the largest floating wind foundation fabrication, manufacturing and assembly facility in the UK – in an offshore wind market predicted to deliver 29,000 jobs and £43.6 billion to the UK economy by 2050.
Already Ardersier Port has an agreement with floating wind leader BW Ideol, guaranteeing them exclusive access to the port for the manufacture of their concrete floating wind foundations.
BW Ideol’s CEO, Paul de la Gueriviere says: “The lack of large infrastructure is a bottle neck to deliver the number of floating foundations required for the UK market’s ambitious development plans, both in terms of local content and the production rate expected. Ardersier Port is a unique facility to unlock these constraints. “In comparison to steel foundations, floating wind offers a unique opportunity to combine both price competitiveness and local manufacturing, thanks to BW Ideol’s unique concrete floater solution. As an early mover in the market, we have engaged with the port’s owners for several years, sharing a joint vision to create a circular and sustainable local supply chain. “By securing exclusive access to Ardersier Port, BW Ideol is reaffirming its commitment to manufacture its floating foundations locally, maximizing the benefit for Scotland and the rest of UK, without conditions.”