Britain's Princess Anne to Open £420M Aberdeen Port Expansion Project

Aberdeen South Harbour pictured in August 2023 with vessels supporting oil and gas, renewables, cruise and cargo in port. Credit: Port of Aberdeen
Aberdeen South Harbour pictured in August 2023 with vessels supporting oil and gas, renewables, cruise and cargo in port. Credit: Port of Aberdeen

Britain's Princess Anne will on Friday officially open Port of Aberdeen’s £420 million South Harbor expansion project on Friday. The project is expected to catalyze a multi-billion-pound economic and job boost for Scotland.

According to a press release issued by the port, independent analysis forecast that when the expanded Port of Aberdeen reaches its full potential the port’s Gross Value Added contribution will jump 60% to £2.4 billion and increase the number of jobs supported by 45% to 17,500.

Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, Port of Aberdeen, said: "We’re honoured that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is joining us for this monumental occasion. Port of Aberdeen is the UK’s oldest business and we’re now officially opening the country’s newest harbour. Aberdeen’s expanded port promises a vibrant future for energy, trade, and tourism across Scotland on the road to net zero, unlocking new jobs and attracting investment to the region.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said:“As the largest new marine infrastructure project in the UK, Port of Aberdeen’s South Harbour will have a huge positive impact on the North East of Scotland and will be a national asset of strategic significance to Scotland. The Port of Aberdeen is at the forefront of the vital transition to net zero. It will be key to helping pivot our economy towards new decarbonised technologies and fuels, not least in facilitating the growth in offshore wind and developing tidal wave research.

More than 250 stakeholders are attending the opening event on Dunnottar Quay which will be marked with Princess Anne unveiling a plaque and ‘Octopode Accropode’ structure which was specially designed and painted by local street artist, Craig Fisher.

According ot Port of Aberdeen, at the peak of construction, there were 300 people working onsite and more than 30 companies from across the North East of Scotland were involved in the construction of Aberdeen South Harbour. Offshore wind is the expanded Port of Aberdeen’s most significant area for growth over the next 10 years.

"These local organizations played an instrumental role in the successful completion and benefitted from contact awards of £44 million since 2020, with a further £16 million of work delivered by companies across the rest of Scotland," the port said .

The new harbor has generated more than £3 million of revenue during its phased opening and is attracting vessels and projects that would have previously sailed past the city, often destined for a European port, the port said .

This increased activity in energy, trade and tourism supports local jobs, attracts local supply chain spend and investment, and the profits generated are reinvested back into the port to improve the facilities for future generations, the port added.

With Aberdeen South Harbour complete, Port of Aberdeen is the largest berthage port in Scotland. The new facility, next to the Energy Transition Zone, can accommodate vessels up to 300m in length, with port users and customers benefiting from an additional 1.5km of deepwater berths, a maximum depth of 15m, 125,000 sq m of flexible project areas, and significant heavy lift capacity.  

 Roy Buchan, Chair, Port of Aberdeen, said: “Today marks a new chapter in our almost 900 years of history. Aberdeen South Harbour is transformational for the port, local communities, the supply chain and wider region. We look forward to working with our partners across the private sector and public sector to maximize the potential of this new facility.”

David Whitehouse, OEUK’s CEO, said:"The opening of Aberdeen South Harbour marks a huge step in the race for us to become a net zero economy. The Harbour has supported the region for over 880 years, and this expansion will allow our world-class energy industry to take on new projects and spark crucial investment in the North Sea for decades to come. We are accelerating homegrown greener technologies like wind, carbon storage and hydrogen, however at the same time supporting our oil and gas sector. Aberdeen South Harbour will provide a fantastic asset for the region, for Scotland, and the wider UK.”


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