Salmond welcomes Global Energy Nigg purchase
20 October 2011

First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed the successful sale of the Nigg fabrication site on the Cromarty Firth to Global Energy Group (GEG).

GEG has today announced the completion of the sale from American company KBR and the Wakelyn Trust. The purchase paves the way for ambitious plans to develop the 238 acre site servicing the energy industry, including oil & gas and renewables.

The company expects around 2000 people to be employed on the site by 2015.

Following on from the successful purchase, the First Minister has also announced subsequent funding of £1.8 million from Highland & Islands Enterprise to help transform the largely dormant site into a multi-use modern energy park.

Visiting the site this morning, the First Minister said: "Scotland has huge natural resources and a wealth of expertise in offshore engineering. Global Energy Group's purchase of the Nigg yard provides an unprecedented opportunity to harness both of these and help build a new renewables industry with the potential to reindustrialise communities across Scotland.

"Nigg is an excellent location for offshore oil and gas and renewables manufacturing. The scale and water depth here are ideal for fabrication and maintenance of the great electricity devices that will power the economies of the future.

"The sale of the site is something that has been long-awaited and I am pleased it has been secured by an ambitious Scottish company with a strong existing business and a big vision for the future.

"Following the successful sale of the site, I am pleased to announce public investment of £1.8 million to help support the transformation of the Nigg yard into an important renewables hub.

“This support – delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise – will help turn Nigg from a site that has lain largely dormant for a decade into a major manufacturer of green energy machinery.

"The Scottish Government is determined to do all we can to promote the low carbon economy that is key to our nation's future and the transformation of the Nigg yard will play an important part in that in the years to come."

HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson said: “The Highlands and Islands is central to delivering the enormous benefits to Scotland from the emerging renewables industry. Its growth could provide 40,000 energy jobs across Scotland in the next decade.  In order to capture the very real manufacturing and installation opportunities it is critical we have the ports and harbours infrastructure in place to meet the needs of offshore developers.

“Nigg has long been a jewel in the crown of Scotland’s offshore fabrication facilities, as identified through the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP). Its huge potential is now unlocked by the purchase of the site by one of Scotland’s fastest growing businesses.  HIE’s investment towards the subsequent development of the site accelerates Nigg's potential to meet the real and immediate needs of oil and gas, offshore wind and wave and tidal developers.”

“This is HIE’s third major investment in N-RIP sites across the Highlands and Islands in the past 18 months. Investments have taken place at Machrihanish, at the Arnish yard in Stornoway, and now Nigg. In addition HIE is supporting the major new harbour infrastructure at Scrabster. We are working with our ambitious energy companies to make sure that the infrastructure and supply chain are ready for this once in a generation opportunity.”

Nigg is a large scale fabrication site developed in the 1970s for the North Sea oil and gas industry, and was later developed in the 1980’s to include Europe’s largest dry dock. For 25 years Nigg was a cornerstone of the oil and gas industry.  Its history, location, size and facilities make it a key location to capitalise on upcoming opportunities in oil and gas as well as unlocking the next stages of growth in the fast emerging Scottish renewables sector.

It has largely lain dormant for the past 10 years.

The Nigg fabrication yard has a total area of 70ha, of which 65ha is developed. Approximately 30ha of the South end of the site is owned by the Wakelyn Trust and leased to KBR, which owns the remainder, including the oil terminal.

For the past 5 years attempts have been made to unlock the potential that exists from the site for the energy sector, both oil and gas, and the emerging renewable sector, notably offshore wind and marine devices (wave and tidal).

In the summer 2010, interested parties were invited to bid for the site. In February 2011 Global Energy Group (GEG) were announced as preferred bidders by both KBR and the Wakelyn Trust.