Kishorn Port has been given the go-ahead from Highland Council to extend its dry dock so that it can secure bigger decommissioning projects.
Those behind the development can now get down to generating jobs and boosting the economy with more oil and gas dismantling work.
Kishorn Port will expand its dry-dock to accommodate marine structures and vessels of more than 820ft(250m) in length, as opposed to the current limitations of 520ft (160m).
The extension is a further and significant step in the regeneration of the port and dry dock, which was originally established in the mid-1970s to fabricate the Ninian Central oil and gas platform.
This will allow the port to accommodate a wider range of marine projects for decommissioning, maintenance and upgrade.
It will also enhance the port’s offering to the offshore wind sector, which, through the current ScotWind leasing round, will take on a significantly enhanced role in the generation of renewable energy in Scotland.
Rock excavated from the dry dock extension will be used in the reclamation of an area of foreshore, which will provide further land within the port to support various industry sectors.
The work is proposed to last up to 12 months and survey work will be carried out on the local access road to assess the extra pressure from traffic before mitigating developer contributions will be sought.
Local councillors welcomed the promise of 40 more jobs in decommissioning and training for younger and older people.
Kishorn Port director Colin Ortlepp said: “We welcome the Council’s approval of this proposal, which follows a period of over 10 years during which Kishorn Port has invested significantly to bring the dry dock and wider port area back to life.
“2020 saw three significant decommissioning and oil and gas projects use our facilities, and we believe the port will host many more projects in future as a direct result of Scotland’s energy transition.
“We’re extremely appreciative of the support we’ve had from the local community, the Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and many others in our journey to bring work back to Kishorn.
“More activity at Kishorn gives us the ability to create further employment opportunities within Wester Ross.”