As the Noble Innovator oil rig leaves the Granite City, a Port of Aberdeen boss has described the project as “a win-win for everybody involved.”
With the project that brought the Noble Innovator to the South Harbour being labelled a success, Roddy James, chief commercial officer at Port of Aberdeen, told Energy Voice that the area can expect to see more energy sector vessels and rigs.
Mr James said: “I think we’ve had a huge response to opening up since July last year,” referring to the new South Harbour expansion, a £400m project with deeper waters allowing the arrival of vessels from rigs to cruise ships.
The Port of Aberdeen CCO continued: “It’s very much been embraced by your traditional oil and gas businesses from the operators through to the main vessel owners.”
The Noble Innovator was not embraced by all sides of the public, however, with campaigners hitting out against its arrival in February.
The jack up rig that had become a staple of the Granite City’s skyline departed Aberdeen’s South Harbour on Friday as it is set to take on decommissioning work for BP in the central North Sea.
While docked in the north-east, the Innovator underwent maintenance work, which Semco was responsible for.
Offshore wind looks to utilise the new South Harbour
The 200 metres tall vessel that has recently left the South Harbour fall within what Mr James classifies as “the decommissioning side and the oil and gas side” of Port of Aberdeen’s clientele.
However, other areas of the energy sector are also looking to take advantage of the new space on the north-east coast.
“There’s obviously the wind industry,” Mr James explained, “And as that picks up, you’ll see more and more of these types of vessels coming into the North Sea region.”
The market for renewables is growing, the Port boss explained that “65% of our market is energy-related and 12% of the energy business is now in renewables.”
He continued: “We’re obviously perfectly positioned for a lot of that work and they see Aberdeen as very much a place they can come in and do what they need to do, whether it’s maintenance, crew change, et cetera.
“And the fact that we can bring in this size of vessels now gives the operators, and whoever’s utilising the wind farm, another place to go, as opposed to going either Norway or into Europe.”
Supporting Scotland’s supply chain
Making this scale of work available in Scotland is going to serve to support the county’s supply chain and create jobs in the region, Mr James believes.
“The innovator was a good example, that was going to Copenhagen or Esberg and Denmark,” he said.
“UK PLC or Scotland PLC probably wouldn’t have seen that extra work. And if you take a project like that between 60 and 90 days, you know you’re talking multi-million-pound project.
“If it’s in Aberdeen, would say 90% of the rigging, diving, scaffolding, whatever, will be sought from the region.”
This level of engagement with local businesses was “great to see” for Mr James and was “massive from a supply chain perspective.”
Remaining in communication with the local supply chain the Port of Aberdeen CCO said that “it’s great to see their hunger” as more work is being made available through the city’s increased capacity for vessels.
As the Noble Innovator leaves the Granite City, Mr James says that “We’ll see other boats of that ilk” at the South Harbour in the future.