Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced a £4million grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the development of a new deepwater quayside at the Port of Cromarty Firth.
The 35 acre Invergordon Service Base has been close to capacity for many years and this funding sees an additional nine acres of land reclaimed.
The £25million investment forms part of an ongoing programme by the Port and could support hundreds of jobs in the Highlands and Islands and across Scotland.
Mr Ewing said: “The energy sector represents a huge opportunity for Scotland to reap both economic benefits and become an energy power house.
“That is why it is important to support the development of the Port of Cromarty Firth – which in turn can create hundreds of jobs for the area not just in construction but also for the supply chain.
“This is another sign of confidence in Scotland as a great place to do business and a great place to invest.”
Bob Buskie, CEO for the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “The new development will offer an additional deep water quay and essential laydown space, both of which are greatly in demand by the oil and gas market and the renewables sectors.
“The expansion is a crucial step forward for the Port in securing future opportunities and supporting the economic health of the wider region.”
Calum Davidson, director of energy and low carbon at HIE said: “HIE has worked with the Port of Cromarty Firth for many years, recognising its crucial role as a driver of the Easter Ross and wider Highlands and Islands economy.
“This £25million redevelopment, supported by £4million from HIE, will ensure the port is primed to exploit the increasing opportunities in offshore wind, oil, gas and subsea industries, especially in the North Sea and West of Shetland.
“The Port of Cromarty Firth’s status as a trust port, run as a strong commercial business, but re-investing all profits back into the region is another reason for its strong growth over the past four decades, mirroring HIE’s dual role in both economic and community development.”