Buckie has been named as one of the harbours along the Moray Coast set to be transformed by the creation of the UK’s second largest offshore windfarm.
A major step in the creation of 180 wind turbines on the Moray Firth was taken in Nigg on Friday, when Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, was on hand to witness the signing of a “memorandum of understanding” between Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) and the Global Energy Group.
The meeting is the first step in contracts being agreed for the offshore project cleared by the Scottish Government earlier this year.
While much of the work will be carried out at Nigg Energy Park the £4.2billion scheme will benefit ports throughout the north east – including Buckie. The MORL project is only part of the massive offshore plans, with a further 227-turbine project alongside set to provide a further boost.
Dan Finch, project director for the MORL, said that Buckie would benefit alongside Wick, Fraserburgh and other ports which are already earmarked for providing maintenance and support to the development.
Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie said: “We are very pleased about this – it is great to see the harbour taking off again. The harbour in Buckie is very rundown at the moment so any new investment is welcome.
“There is currently one boat going out of Buckie for maintenance of the test turbines at Beartrice so we will hopefully get more of them in future.”
Alex Salmond said that the “massive” project was the first of its kind, adding: “The project is for just over 11,000MW which is one sixth of Scottish power consumption in a day.
“Today’s memorandum of understanding will provide opportunities for dialogue before Morl and Global Energy Group, the supply chain and potential inward investors to discuss the skills requirements needed for this emerging project.”
MORL’s Dan Finch said: “The benefit for this area is it is used to oil and gas – there are also other facilities like Fraserburgh, Buckie and Wick which may be suitable for smaller maintenance work.”