A new multi-million pound redevelopment at mainland Scotland’s most northerly port, Scrabster Harbour, is already reaping the benefits, only two months after coming into operation. Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, based in Orkney, has chosen Scrabster as the location for their most recent operations and maintenance work on their prototype tidal turbine, the SR250.
This is the first tidal device to arrive at Scrabster since the £20 million infrastructure redevelopment. It was towed from Orkney in around seven hours earlier this week by Scotrenewables’ sister company Scotmarine Ltd and is due to stay until Monday afternoon. The contract lift was undertaken by local crane contractors Hugh Simpson Ltd.
This is an example of joint working and of closer links between supply chain companies in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park area.
Barry Johnston from Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, commented: “We are delighted to be using the facilities and expertise at Scrabster Harbour. This highlights the cost effectiveness and mobility of our turbine which is unique in that we can easily tow it to the maintenance equipment and facilities rather than have the expense of mobilising the equipment to the turbine. We are therefore able to use facilities on both sides of the Pentland Firth. The local contractors and harbour staff at Scrabster have been a pleasure to work with”.
William Calder, Chairman of Scrabster Harbour Trust, commented: “It is extremely exciting that the new pier has come into life within the renewables industry so early by hosting an Orcadian tidal device from ScotRenewables. Scrabster Harbour is ideally placed to capitalise on the marine renewable activity in the Pentland Firth and oil and gas development West of Shetland and this confirms our strategy is the correct route. The surrounding supply chain in Caithness are also exceptional and have demonstrated their skills and experience with a range of recent developments to support our work at the Harbour. Despite being in the early stages of our redevelopment, we have seen a rise in the volume of oil-related activities over the past couple of months with platform supply and subsea operations vessels for the oil and gas industry already using the new pier, proving our facilities are versatile and suitable for all aspects of the energy market.”
The developments at Scrabster Harbour are supported by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, commented: “To see companies from both sides of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park working together to build on the opportunities emerging in offshore renewables is extremely exciting, and a solid demonstration of the real business benefits that this emerging industry can bring. The investment in Scrabster Harbour is now reaping the rewards for local firms and work such as this cements the reputation of both Caithness and Orkney as being at the forefront of global marine renewables research.”