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Port of Leith unveils ambitious renewable energy hub plans

Forth Ports has recently announced ambitious proposals to create Scotland’s largest and best located renewable energy hub on a 175-acre site at the Port of Leith. This will further support Scotland’s economic recovery and energy transition plans and the achievement of Scotland’s net zero carbon emissions targets. 

This £40m private investment will see the creation of a tailored, riverside marine berth to accommodate the world’s largest offshore wind installation vessels. The facility will feature a heavy lift capability of up to 100 tonnes per square metre (t/m2) supported by 35 acres of adjacent land for logistics and marshalling. This will be supplemented by the upgrading of a 140-acre cargo handling site to accommodate further lay down, assembly, supply chain and manufacturing opportunities. The total area is equivalent to around 100 full size football pitches. [See downloadable CGI video here:] 

The Port of Leith Renewable Energy Hub has the potential to: 

·         Make a major contribution to Scotland achieving its 2045 net zero greenhouse gases target

·         Secure the Firth of Forth as the driver for Scotland’s green energy transition

·         Help spearhead Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s Covid-19 recovery plan

·         Support up to 1,000 high quality, long term direct jobs and about 2,000 indirect jobs 

Launching the plans, Charles Hammond OBE, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports, said:  

“We are committed to playing a significant role in the renewable energy sector and, through that, Scotland’s energy transition to net zero as we also tackle the challenges of Covid-19 recovery and economic regeneration. This is a pump-priming investment in logistics and marine infrastructure at the Port of Leith as we harness Scotland’s natural resources for future generations and has the potential to play a significant part in our forthcoming Firth of Forth Green Port bid. 

“Leith’s proximity to the North Sea, which is set to become home to many more offshore wind developments, coupled with the natural deep waters of the Firth of Forth, makes this an ideal location to support not only those developments already planned, but the pipeline of projects that are sure to follow. That’s why we’re prepared to invest our land, our expertise and our shareholders’ money to further build and strengthen Scotland’s renewables supply chain to deliver new long-term jobs.” 

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, said:

“The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets to increase offshore wind capacity to 11 GW of energy installed by 2030 – enough to power more than eight million homes. This commitment, which will support our transition to a net-zero economy by 2045, capitalises on the fact that Scotland’s seas have some of the best offshore wind resources in the world. 

“This significant investment from Forth Ports to develop the Port of Leith places them in an ideal position to harness the offshore wind opportunities in the North Sea, creating good green jobs and supporting a just transition to net-zero – not just for the city of Edinburgh but the wider area and beyond.” 

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:

“Scotland is at the start of its offshore wind journey, with plans to increase capacity tenfold in the coming decade. Ports and harbour infrastructure have an enormous role to play in the growth of that multi-billion-pound sector which, with support from government and industry, is likely to grow much more quickly than it has to date. 

“This significant activity by Forth Ports is hugely welcome and will act as a signal to draw other, wider private and public sector investment to grow the skills, expertise, innovation and supply chain we need to make the most of this exciting next phase of the renewable energy industry’s development.”

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