The Nigg fabrication site on the Cromarty Firth was successfully purchased by Global Energy Group (GEG) in October 2011 with £1.8m funding package from HIE to help transform the largely dormant site into a multi-use modern energy park.
GEG announced the completion of the sale from American company KBR and the Wakelyn Trust. The purchase paved the way for ambitious plans to develop the 238 acre site servicing the energy industry, including oil and gas and renewables.
The company expects around 2000 people to be employed on the site by 2015.
In April 2012, the Scottish Government announced 4 new Enterprise Areas for Scotland. Enterprise Areas are identified locations set up by the Scottish Government in order to stimulate manufacturing opportunities as well as investment and job creation. These locations offer clear opportunities for investment-led growth.
Nigg has Enterprise Area status under the Low Carbon / Renewables North sector.
Businesses that choose to invest in or start-up at Nigg can benefit from the following incentives:
The existing business support measures provided by the enterprise agencies and through Business Gateway, as well as initiatives like the Small Business Bonus Scheme will continue to be available as appropriate irrespective of Enterprise Area boundaries.
* Business rates discounts cannot be offered at the same location as enhanced capital allowances. The locations, including their site boundaries, where each incentive will be available had to be determined in advance of laying the necessary enabling legislation for each form of support. Eligible businesses will therefore be able, subject to the relevant legislation, to utilise the relevant incentive at each Enterprise Area site but will not be able to determine which measure they would prefer to apply for.
20 December 2012 - Nigg revival creates 400 new Highland jobs
First Minister Alex Salmond today hailed plans by owners of Nigg Energy Park in the Highlands to create 400 new jobs in the New Year.
Global Energy Group, which in October 2011 bought the Nigg yard by the Cromarty Firth in Ross-shire, is launching a Highlands-wide recruitment drive for an additional 400 skilled personnel to start work at Nigg and the neighbouring Invergordon Service Base. The jobs will focus on the oil and gas side of Global Energy’s operations.
Mr Salmond announced the jobs boost to the Scottish Parliament at First Minister’s Questions, while Energy Minister Fergus Ewing joined Global Energy’s Chairman Roy MacGregor at Nigg to hear details of the company’s latest expansion plans.
The First Minister said: “Scotland’s people are its best asset. This latest recruitment drive is a testament to the strengths our workforce, Scotland’s vibrant energy potential and the ambition of our energy sector. It is great news for the north of Scotland and rounds off another successful year for our energy industry.
“Buoyed by growing demand for the manufacture of advanced and highly-specialised technologies across energy sectors, Nigg Energy Park is set to reindustrialise the Cromarty Firth and help strengthen the wider Highland economy.
“Since buying the largely-dormant oil yard just over a year ago, Global Energy has begun a magnificent renaissance at Nigg. Their ambition is matched by the quality and skills of an expanding workforce – boosted by the Nigg Skills Academy I opened in March.”
Global Energy Group Chairman Roy MacGregor commented: “From the outset, one of our main ambitions in developing Nigg Energy Park, was to see this site once again becoming a major local employer, providing good, well-paid jobs for people and making a real contribution to the area’s economy. A great deal of work has gone on over the past year since we took the facility over to try and ensure we could achieve that. We are delighted that the levels of work we are attracting to this excellent facility mean that we are now recruiting on this scale. Given the history Highland people have in working at Ardersier and Nigg, we believe these affiliations might inspire them to join our established workforce and in so doing use their skills to help us with the exciting contracts we have coming our way.
“We hope that over the next few weeks we will have a great response to these new job opportunities and our team are all ready to deal rapidly and efficiently with the applications as they come in.”
HIE invested £1.8 million to help support Nigg yard’s transformation into a multi-user energy hub. Chief Executive Alex Paterson said: “This announcement by Global Energy is great news and further emphasises the region’s key role in the international energy sector. Over the coming years there are opportunities in both oil and gas, and renewable energy, which can contribute significantly to economic growth and employment.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing added: “Scotland continues to be a world leader in the energy industry and Global Energy’s announcement that it is further expanding its operations at Nigg and Invergordon is testament to the quality of the local workforce and the continuing growth of our energy sector. This is a great Christmas present for Nigg and the Cromarty Firth.
“Global Energy have to be congratulated on the great deal of work they have done over the past year since taking over the Nigg facility. This injection of high value employment ranging from project engineers, fabricators and welders to name a few will support secured contracts for the upgrade and refurbishment of drilling rigs.
“This Government is focused on doing all we can to help the energy industry in Scotland go from strength to strength and these new jobs will be a major boost to the Highland economy and will support the oil and gas industry with its crucial role in Scotland’s future long-term economic success.”
23 March 2012 - First Minister unveils training boost for Scotland’s energy industry
Nigg Skills Academy to train thousands for renewables and oil & gas.
First Minister Alex Salmond today launched an industry-led energy skills academy, established with over £900,000 public funding, to deliver training for thousands of workers across key sectors including oil & gas and renewables.
Nigg Skills Academy (NSA) has been built at Nigg Energy Park, which was purchased by Global Energy Group in October. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has already committed £1.8 million to the development of the 238-acre site on the Cromarty Firth, which the company estimates could see up to 2,000 people employed at Nigg within four years.
Global Energy Group has provided and substantially upgraded premises for the NSA, which will operate initially as a 12-month pilot, with funding from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and HIE totalling £915,000.
The Academy aims to start 290 Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) in its first year and to provide both MAs and general training for some 3,000 people by 2015 for a range of jobs including engineers, operators, riggers, technicians and for general and project management.
The First Minister said: "Nigg has one of the world's largest dry docks and its workforce has been responsible for some of the biggest energy-related structures ever built, so it is well positioned to host the Skills Academy pilot. I'm delighted to meet some of the first recruits and to be able to congratulate Global Energy and the various agencies involved for establishing this innovative facility just five months after the purchase of the Nigg site.
"With some one trillion pounds of oil & gas reserves remaining and huge export opportunities for supply chain companies, Scotland's offshore energy sector remains vibrant, while our burgeoning renewables sector is set to reindustrialise communities across Scotland. Clearly the energy industry needs continued access to world-class talent to meet Scotland's global energy ambitions; Nigg Skills Academy is a perfect example of how the public and private sector can work together quickly and decisively to deliver just that.
"We identified Nigg as a strategic location in our National Renewable Infrastructure Plan and I'm pleased that the UK Treasury has agreed to our proposal that Nigg becomes eligible for enhanced capital allowances. The Scottish Government will continue to support the transformation and renaissance of Nigg as a vital hub for our world-leading energy industry."
The NSA has had more than 800 applications since advertisements were placed last month - with all those applying guaranteed pre-training tests. The industry-led model has the potential to be delivered in various locations, with different industry partners across Scotland.
Global Energy Group Chairman Roy MacGregor said: "There is recognition within the wider energy industry of the need for additional skilled labour if we are to meet the demands of both oil & gas and the emerging renewables industry over this next three to five years. A lot of discussion has taken place around the skills agenda, and I am delighted, following our purchase of Nigg Energy Park, to have entered into early dialogue with the various public sector bodies.
"They were able to move quickly in their understanding of the critical skills issues facing the industry if it is to grow and look to attract inward investment into the area. I would like to thank HIE, SDS and SFC for their financial support for this innovative pilot project. We have our own needs over this next three years to service both oil & gas and renewable energy opportunities."
John McClelland, Chair of both the SFC and SDS, added: "This is an excellent example of partnership working between the college sector and industry to respond to the energy sector's current and future skills needs. It builds upon the work of SFC and SDS in this area including the Energy Skills Investment Plan and College Energy Partnerships. The benefits for industry and for individuals are clearly demonstrated and we look forward to our continuing involvement in skills development at Nigg."
Lorne Crerar, Chairman of HIE commented: "The Highlands & Islands has a long and effective tradition of mobilising large workforces quickly for big energy projects through specific industry-led training initiatives. We need only look to the hydro schemes of the 1960s, and how the oil industry was able to very quickly turn farmers into fabricators and crofters into welders back in the 1970s. Provision of an industry-led Academy will provide a facility which can meet the skills challenges facing local employers. This is a facility for the entire sector, and its services will be open to all employers. It'll be a key asset in attracting new investors into the area and will maximise opportunities for the future workforce."
In addition to Global Energy Group and Scottish public sector funders, other partners in the project include North Highland College, JobCentrePlus, the Highland Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), SQA, and industry training accreditation bodies Semta and EAL.
North Highland College will provide equipment and other services to the NSA. JobCentre Plus has seconded a staff member to work at the NSA to help ensure employers' labour needs are met and to maximise opportunities for jobseekers in the region. The Highland Council and UHI will provide nominations to join Global Energy Group on the NSA management board.