Leith's major role in new offshore wind project confirmed as BP signs agreement with Forth Ports
One of the major developers of renewable energy in the North Sea has confirmed plans to use Leith as the base for building their new windfarm.
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Energy giant BP and German partners EnBW, who were awarded the 2.9GW Morven offshore wind site as part of the ScotWind leasing round earlier this year, have signed an agreement with Forth Ports for Scotland’s largest offshore wind renewables hub, currently under construction at the Port of Leith, to become the marshalling port for the development.
And there are hopes the hub could also play a manufacturing role in the project, which is scheduled to be operational by 2027.
The £50 million first phase of the renewables hub is due to be ready next year, with up to 1,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs, and it is expected a second phase could follow, with more berthing capacity and manufacturing options.
The Port of Leith is a key part of the Forth Green Freeport bid, now being considered by the UK and Scottish governments, which owners Forth Ports say will re-industrialise Scotland, creating up to 50,000 green jobs across the central belt, boosting the economy and unlocking £6 billion of private and public investment for Scotland.
Carole Cran, chief financial officer at Forth Ports, said: “This is significant news for our business and for Scotland, as we welcome BP and EnBW’s Morven project to Leith, the first of many for our new facility. We will be the largest offshore renewables hub in Scotland, bringing manufacturing opportunities and highly skilled, local, green jobs.
"This facility, and the Port of Dundee, will provide an integrated service offering to the offshore wind market, which will be instrumental in achieving the nation’s net zero targets over the next two decades.
“Our vision is to create a renewables centre of excellence for research and development, manufacturing and assembly that matches anything in northern Europe, with genuine export potential.”
Morven is located 60km off the east coast of Scotland and once completed is expected to generate enough energy to power more than three million homes.
Richard Haydock, project director for offshore wind at BP, said :“BP and EnBW are delighted to have secured Port of Leith for our Morven project. This is the next step for us to be able to deliver 2.9GW of clean energy. The project’s investment will support the Port of Leith with its transformation into a renewables hub and help position Forth Ports for future Scottish offshore wind projects.”
And Céline Combé, EnBW project director, said they had been working with the Port of Leith from an early stage of the Morven project. She said: “EnBW and BP are excited about taking the collaboration with Forth Ports to the next level with this agreement. It marks another important milestone in the development of our Morven project. We are looking forward to continuing working with the team at Forth Ports, and we are proud to keep contributing to the build out of renewable infrastructure in and for Scotland.”