Kishorn Dry Dock is poised to come out of a 23 year long hibernation after an agreement was signed today (Friday 21st April) to use the site during the construction of the world’s largest floating wind farm – a project that comes with the promise of 200 jobs.
Last used to work on the Skye Bridge in 1994, the dry-dock is one of the largest in Western Europe and will now be used to help build the floating turbines for Kincardine Offshore’s development of eight turbines off the coast of Aberdeen.
The exclusivity agreement between Kishorn Port Ltd and Kincardine Offshore means work will start at the site in August, with the first turbine of the 50MW array expected to be in the water in the second quarter of 2018.
Director of the project, Carlos Barat, said the development will directly lead to the creation of up to 200 much-needed jobs in the area.
He added: “Today’s agreement to use Kishorn dry-dock will herald a new era for offshore renewables and, of course, for this area as the terrific potential this facility offers the country is realised.”
Simon Russell, a director of Kishorn Port Limited, said: “In signing this deal, Kincardine has demonstrated the significant strategic and technical strength of Kishorn’s dry dock.”
Kishorn Port was historically an oil and gas fabrication yard, used for the casting of the 600,000-tonne Ninian Central platform in the late 1970s. The last time the port’s two 13,000 tonne dock gates were moved was in 1994, when the two concrete foundation caissons for the Skye Bridge were floated out.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise has invested £158,932 in the £450,000 costs of upgrading the dry dock. HIE’s area manager for Skye, Lochaber and Wester Ross, Robert Muir, said: “The site will provide valuable rural jobs and contribute to both economic and community growth, and wider competitiveness of the region.”
Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “As outlined in our new draft Energy Strategy, both fixed and floating offshore wind technologies are set to take an increasingly important role in the generation of renewable electricity.”
Once completed, power from Kincardine Offshore will be brought ashore to an Aberdeen operations centre and will connect to the grid at Redmoss sub-station.