Port of Cromarty Firth has signed a letter of intent with Ideol, a specialist in floating foundations for offshore wind. The agreement would see France-based Ideol and its future local construction partners use the Port’s land and Firth berthing sites. The partners would also cooperating towards further developing the facilities and infrastructure to establish a concrete hull manufacturing yard for incoming floating wind tenders.
In addition to providing business opportunities for local suppliers, the manufacturing would call upon proven concrete construction methods and create a mix of skilled and semi-skilled work in the Highlands.
Ideol has teamed up with Elicio – an offshore wind farm developer and operator in the Belgian North Sea – and BayW – a global renewable energy business with a strong historical presence in Scotland – to submit proposals for the ScotWind tender launched by Crown Estate Scotland. The consortium is operating under the name ‘Floating Energy Allyance’.
There is expected to be massive expansion of offshore wind off the Scottish coast – Port of Cromarty Firth said that the pipeline of development predicted to be worth over £26bn just in the first round of 10GW development sites.
Chief executive Bob Buskie said: “This partnership shows the vital manufacturing role the Port can play in the rapid expansion in renewable projects off Scotland’s shores.
“We have some of the best marine resources in the world and are in close proximity to around 14 of the 15 areas identified in the Crown Estate Scotland’s marine plan for offshore wind development. This agreement is a significant boost to the long-term future of the Port, Invergordon and the Highlands, as it looks to capitalise on the transformation of the energy market from oil and gas to renewables.”
Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Ideol, said: “This agreement is testament to our vision to build our floaters as close as possible to the offshore installation sites and in close collaboration with the local communities. We have demonstrated such high local content track record in France and Japan and do not see any reason why we could not reiterate such success stories in Scotland.”