Opportunity Cromarty Firth welcomes Green Freeport announcement
Today’s announcement that the UK and Scottish governments intend to establish two green freeports in Scotland has been warmly welcomed by the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium.
OCF believes the creation of such a zone on the Firth would maximise local and Scotland-wide benefits from a pipeline of renewable energy projects and place the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net-zero.
The consortium is backed by port owners Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Highland Resources and Port of Inverness alongside a dozen regional businesses, public sector organisations and academic bodies.
Speaking on behalf of OCF, Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive, Bob Buskie, said: “The decision to establish two Scottish green freeports is excellent news for Scotland and the UK. We are delighted the Scottish and UK governments have worked together on a solution which will play an important part in the process of levelling up across the UK, attracting investment and encouraging innovation in the manufacturing sector.
“The award of green freeport status will ensure the successful bidder’s ability to compete on a level playing field with their counterparts in the rest of the UK. That is a key aspiration of the businesses and organisations that have been working closely together for the benefit of the region in the Opportunity Cromarty Firth consortium.
‘We believe that today’s announcement could herald a major step towards achieving the consortium’s vital goal of realising the full potential of a sustainable 50-year pipeline of renewable energy projects constructed in Scotland.”
The Cromarty Firth area hosts a number of leading supply chain companies as well as a locally skilled workforce with essential engineering experience. This is coupled with first-class port infrastructure and manufacturing facilities, which have benefitted from over £110m of industry-led investments in recent years.
Mr Buskie continued: “The Cromarty Firth is ideally placed to become a green freeport and we look forward to working with the Scottish and UK governments as this process moves forward.
“The Firth is uniquely positioned at the heart of a host of multi-billion pound renewable projects, including offshore wind and green hydrogen potentially worth billions of pounds. These in turn would create quality jobs and business opportunities across the Highlands and the whole of Scotland on a level not seen since the oil boom of the 1970s.
“It is vital to the future of the Highlands and Scotland that sectors generating significant employment opportunities and attracting inward investment in innovative technologies, such as the offshore renewables industry, are supported and optimised.”
Source: Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF)