Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said yesterday they were to develop renewable-energy projects around Forth Ports sites in Scotland and England.
The new venture, Forth Energy, could create up to 200 jobs.
It will invest in the generation, distribution and supply of energy for export to the electricity network for commercial sale and for consumption at the port operator’s sites.
Forth Energy is said to have the potential to be Scotland’s biggest developer of onsite dedicated renewable power-generation facilities.
The venture will contemplate projects across renewable-energy technologies, including onshore and offshore wind and biomass, and related networks and infrastructure.
Possible projects with a total installed capacity of 150-plus megawatts have been identified. The first – construction of four 2MW onshore wind turbines at Tilbury – is to proceed soon.
No information is available yet on the possibility of any projects for Dundee.
If Forth Energy’s project portfolio is fully developed, up to 200 permanent skilled engineering and craft jobs are expected to be created.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said: “This collaborative project will aid the regeneration of Forth Ports’ property asset base, while creating skilled jobs and cutting emissions, which is exactly in line with our strategy to put renewables at the heart of economic growth in Scotland.”
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, said: “For some time we have been examining how we can develop a renewable-energy strategy, both for self-consumption and for commercial sale by exploiting our asset base and by capitalising on our logistics expertise.
“On a standalone basis, we expect these projects to deliver attractive returns. Our ports should also benefit from the increased handling of renewables feedstocks.”
SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: “Securing future supplies and tackling climate change are driving major changes in the production and consumption of energy. Our venture with Forth Ports will provide us with a series of new opportunities to pursue sustainable energy developments, with a variety of technologies.
“Working with a leading infrastructure owner and developer like Forth Ports represents another important milestone in the growth of our energy services business, which is about providing site-specific energy solutions for customers in the land-development and other sectors.”
Forth Ports owns and operates seven UK commercial ports: Tilbury on the Thames, Dundee and five in the Firth of Forth. It also operates out of Chatham in Kent under the Nordic banner.
Forth Ports said yesterday that it expected a strong trading performance for 2008.