First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praises cash put forward for Aberdeen harbour expansion

Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed news that Scottish Enterprise will contribute £11.7 million towards Aberdeen Harbour’s £350m expansion.

Visiting the North-east today the First Minister also welcomed the creation of 2,300 jobs by 2026.

The project, due to be completed in 2020, will provide enhanced facilities and capacity to the oil industry and help capitalise on the growing cruise tourism and renewables markets in the North-east.

Funding by Scottish Enterprise is in addition to the support from the European Investment Bank, which is providing a loan of up to £175m, and support of up to £11m from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils via Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Ahead of the visit, Ms Sturgeon said: “Aberdeen Harbour is Scotland’s main oil and gas port and one of Europe’s leading marine support centres for offshore energy.

“This funding will open up significant opportunities to diversify and exploit the rapid growth in cruise tourism and the renewables markets in Scotland.

“We are already seeing Scottish-based firms seizing decommissioning opportunities, and we are committed to supporting Scottish industry to win further valuable contracts.

“That’s why we developed a Decommissioning Plan last year, and have since launched the £5m Decommissioning Challenge Fund.”

Maggie McGinlay, Scottish Enterprise director of energy, said: “The Aberdeen Harbour expansion project is strategically important to the growth of Scotland’s economy.

“A recent impact assessment study confirms the project will not only help sustain growth in the oil and gas sector, but will also help to maximise opportunities from the growing cruise tourism and renewables sectors.”

Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour, was delighted with the announcement.

He said: “This funding is immensely significant.

“It further demonstrates recognition of this strategic project as one of national and international importance.”