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Harbour links up with major energy firm

Harbour  links up with  major energy firm
A major marine energy developer is forging links with Scrabster Harbour Trust in what is the first formal sign of the port's involvement in the fledgling industry.

A major marine energy developer is forging links with Scrabster Harbour Trust in what is the first formal sign of the port’s involvement in the fledgling industry.

The trust is gearing up to service new traffic from both wave and tidal turbines and the new oil and gas fields opening up west of Shetland.

Trust chairman William Calder said they had signed a confidentiality agreement with a big renewable energy developer, but he was unable to provide further details other than to confirm that it involved one of the clutch of new marine power ventures going ahead in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.

Mr Calder said the current major redevelopment of the harbour leaves the port well placed to attract new oil and renewable energy business.

He added: “Things are looking very bright. I see a big future for Scrabster.

“It’s been a struggle putting the funding package together for the first phase of the redevelopment but the trust board never gave up and it’s now under way.

“At next year’s annual meeting we’ll be talking about phase two.”

Mr Calder said that just as Scrabster’s trade with trawlers has been built up on its proximity to popular fishing grounds, its expansion into new sectors will be based on its location.

“We’re very fortunate with regard to our geography,” he said. “We’re 10 miles from the main tidal streams, we’re the main mainland port closest to the west of Scotland fields and we’re on the doorstep of the marine power developments.

“These new opportunities are what have been driving our long-term strategy.”

Eann Sinclair, manager of Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, yesterday welcomed the trust’s latest tie-up.

“I think that is a really good sign for the future,” he said. “We’re now beginning to see things happening on the ground.”

Mr Sinclair said several Caithness firms have already won contracts with marine energy developers, and the redevelopment of Scrabster will leave it ideally placed to win business from the marine power developers.

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