Aberdeen Harbour’s new boss has pledged to put the port at “the heart of the UK’s energy transition”.
Bob Sanguinetti, who has started as the chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) this week, said the opportunities for the £350 million South Harbour expansion
and the wider region are “vast” and “transformational”.
Mr Sanguinetti joins AHB from the UK Chamber of Shipping.
He takes over from Michelle Handforth who left to take up a role as a regional managing director for Network Rail.
AHB said the chief executive will oversee “one of the most pivotal points in the port’s history” as the expansion completes sometime next year. The South Harbour is also a key piece of a jigsaw to enable the greening of local industry, including plans for an Energy Transition Zone nearby.
Mr Sanguinetti joins following the expansion project having hit a number of delays, including the abrupt departure of its main contractor, Spain’s Dragados, which downed tools before work had been completed.
The harbour’s bosses also recently issued a plea for more funding from government in order to fund further green infrastructure such as service trenches for clean fuels and quayside electrification, which will be key for the harbour to fulfil its promise as part of the region’s transition from oil and gas.
Mr Sanguinetti said: “I have long since been impressed by the hard work and vision at the port to ensure transformational opportunities bring prosperity to current and future stakeholders.
“The port is a vital piece of infrastructure and will play a key role in the development of offshore wind and green hydrogen production, and as the existing oil and gas industry adapts into one which is sustainable for future use.
“The expanded port will be integral to the growth of trade and the maritime industry in Scotland, and I look forward to seeing how the port will play its part in the development of these industries in the coming years.
“We will continue to build on what we offer our customers: a unique combination of scale, location and experience, and flexible solutions for their complex operations.”
The port sees more than 9,000 vessel arrivals each year and handles more than 4-million tonnes of cargo and 170,000 passengers.
On completion of the expansion project, Aberdeen Harbour will be the largest berthage port in Scotland, with vessels up to 300 metres in length able to berth alongside the South Harbour quays.