The Highland port of Ardersier has hired Neptune Infrastructure Associates, led by former Orsted exec Hamish Yates, to create an “energy transition hub”.
Port owner Haventus, itself backed by private equity player Quantum Energy Partners, is seeking to transform the former oil and gas fabrication yard for floating offshore wind manufacturing.
Neptune Infrastructure Associates, an asset management firm set up by Yates this year, has won a “significant contract” with Haventus “developing its commercial strategy and help transform the port into an energy transition hub over the coming years”.
Foundations for floating wind is the main target for Ardersier, which has already signed agreements with developer BW Ideol.
Neptune said this contract signifies a “significant step forward” to enhance future prospects for Ardersier and “maximise commercial viability for developers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) in Northern Europe”.
While at Orsted, Mr Yates led development of the huge Hornsea 1 and Hornsea 2 windfarms and sat on the firm’s UK board.
Lewis Gillies, CEO of Haventus, said: “Our engagement with Neptune Infrastructure Associates is a strategic move to optimise Ardersier Port’s potential as a hub for renewable energy projects, including the 30GW arising from the Scotwind leasing round and other offshore wind opportunities in the North Sea.
“With their support, we are confident in our ability to further refine our commercial strategy and create a transition facility that builds on Ardersier’s proud history, supports the Highlands economy, and contributes to the UK’s offshore wind energy targets and decarbonisation priorities.”
Ardersier is a former McDermott oil and gas yard which built some of the North Sea’s most iconic structures before closing in 2001.
Haventus recently took ownership and has brought in £300m of private equity capital.
Hamish Yates said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Haventus in realising their ambitious redevelopment plans for Ardersier Port.
“Without significant investment into UK port infrastructure, there cannot be a timely energy transition. This collaboration underscores our dedication to driving accelerated economic development and value-creation in renewable energy.”