Feature, Freight News, Sea, Logistics

Wind power hub means sunshine on Leith

[ May 25, 2021   //   ]

Forth Ports has unveiled plans to create a £40million renewable energy hub at the Port of Leith in Edinburgh. Based around a new riverside marine berth, the 175 acre facility will be capable of hosting the world’s largest offshore wind construction vessels and will support the next generation of offshore wind developments in the North Sea.

The facility will feature a heavy lift capability of up to 100 tonnes per square metre (t/m2), backed up by 35 acres of adjacent land for logistics and marshalling. This will be supplemented by the upgrading of a 140 acre cargo handling site to accommodate lay down; assembly; supply chain and manufacturing opportunities.

Forth Ports said the hub could make a major contribution to Scotland achieving its 2045 net zero greenhouse gases target, spearhead Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s Covid-19 recovery plan and support up to 1,000 jobs and about 2,000 indirect jobs

Group chief executive Charles Hammond (pictured below) described the investment as: “A pump-priming investment in logistics and marine infrastructure at the Port of Leith as we harness Scotland’s natural resources for future generations and has the potential to play a significant part in our forthcoming Firth of Forth Green Port bid.

“Leith’s proximity to the North Sea, which is set to become home to many more offshore wind developments, coupled with the natural deep waters of the Firth of Forth, makes this an ideal location to support not only those developments already planned, but the pipeline of projects that are sure to follow. That’s why we’re prepared to invest our land, our expertise and our shareholders’ money to further build and strengthen Scotland’s renewables supply chain to deliver new long-term jobs. Forth Ports is committed to both help make Scotland’s renewables future a reality and help it meet its carbon reduction targets.”

Cabinet Secretary for net zero, energy and transport, Michael Matheson, added: “The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets to increase offshore wind capacity to 11 GW of energy installed by 2030 – enough to power more than eight million homes. This commitment, which will support our transition to a net-zero economy by 2045, capitalises on the fact that Scotland’s seas have some of the best offshore wind resources in the world.

 “This significant investment from Forth Ports to develop the Port of Leith places them in an ideal position to harness the offshore wind opportunities in the North Sea, creating good green jobs and supporting a just transition to net-zero – not just for the city of Edinburgh but the wider area and beyond.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, Claire Mack, said that Scotland was “at the start of its offshore wind journey, with plans to increase capacity tenfold in the coming decade. Ports and harbour infrastructure have an enormous role to play in the growth of that multi-billion pound sector which, with support from government and industry, is likely to grow much more quickly than it has to date.”