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Friday, November 15, 2019

Scottish Government News

Image: Ferguson Marine Shipyard

Scottish Govt Takes Over Ferguson Shipyard

Ferguson Marine Shipyard in Port Glasgow, Scotland, is now set to enter public ownership.The Scottish Government has announced that it has reached an agreement with administrators to take the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow into public control.According to government sources, the agreement means two ferries currently under construction at the yard for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) will be completed.A program board has been set up by Scotland's economy secretary…

Pic: Peel Ports

Hunterston Port Reveals Masterplan

UK port operator Peel Ports has revealed its plans for the major port and industrial centre at Hunterston, one of Scotland’s most important development sites comprising a 300-acre brownfield footprint, deepwater, and rail connections.It is calling on North Ayrshire residents and businesses to share their opinions about potential uses of the site, which is expected to support over 1,700 jobs and add over £140m in economic value to Scotland.The company has published its vision for Hunterston and how it intends to develop the site over the next twenty years.

Agency Manager David Thorburn (left) with the Harbourmaster of Montrose Port Authority, Tom Hutchison and local legend Bamse the St Bernard. (Photo: GAC Group)

GAC Opens UK Office

GAC UK said it has opened its 20th branch at the historic port of Montrose on the east coast of Scotland, just seven months after welcoming its 19th office at nearby Dundee.Established in 1493, the port of Montrose is known as the “gateway to the North Sea” and is now a thriving support and service hub for the energy and shipping industries, as well as other shipping sectors including cruise. More than $28 million has been invested in upgrading its infrastructure since 2010 - with the latest reinforcing two of its berths at a cost of $9.4 million…

Image: Lerwick Port Authority

Ultra-Deepwater Port Location Revealed at Shetland

Scottish Government identifies Dales Voe in Lerwick in Shetland  as “preferred site” for an "ultra deep water" decommissioning port after UK-wide feasibility study.Scotland’s supply chain could be set to win more large scale decommissioning projects, after Dales Voe in Shetland has been identified as the optimal location for an ultra-deep water port.The Lerwick location was selected following a UK-wide feasibility study, conducted by Ernst and Young, has as the optimal and most…

Nik Scott-Gray (Photo: Montrose Port Authority)

Montrose Port Receives $2 Mln Investment

Montrose Port Authority, a support and service hub for the energy industry, has received a £1.5 million ($2 million) Ports Mode Shift Grant from the Scottish Government.Following on from a period of significant investment for Montrose Port Authority, the funding feeds into the port’s strategic growth plans which will allow larger cargo vessels to dock in Montrose.The Grant will support the development of two new North quaysides – berths seven west and eight. This will increase the port’s capacity…

Photo: CMAL Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Buys Three Ferries

A deal has been agreed for the three passenger ferries serving the Northern Isles to be purchased outright by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) with loan funding from the Scottish Government. The MV Hamnavoe, MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland, which have previously been leased from Royal Bank of Scotland, will be taken into CMAL ownership. An 18 month extension to the current Northern Isles Ferry Services contract has also been agreed to allow further progress to be made with the ongoing review of procurement policy.

Photo: Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited

Buchan Alpha Arrives in Shetland for Decommissioning

The Buchan Alpha oil production vessel has arrived safely in Lerwick, Shetland for disposal. A semi-submersible moored floating production vessel, weighing 12,000 tonnes, Buchan Alpha was built in 1973 as a drilling rig and converted for production purposes in Stornoway between 1978-80. The vessel commenced production in 1981 from the Buchan field, located in blocks 21/1A and 20/5A, and has subsequently also produced the nearby Hannay field. Production ceased, as planned, on 12 May 2017 having produced around 148mm barrels of oil.

(Photo: Peterhead Port Authority)

Peterhead Port Secures Offshore Wind Contract

Peterhead Port Authority is set to support the start of offshore construction work for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) after signing an agreement to harbor the suction bucket jacket foundations for the 11-turbine scheme. The contract will see the port moor one of the world’s largest floating cranes, with a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000 metric tons, and up to six barges that will transport the 11 foundations - the heaviest of which weighs around 1,800 metric tons and is about 77 meters high.

John McDonald (Photo: OPITO)

O&G Seeks Clarity on New Skills Tax

The oil and gas industry, led by its skill organization OPITO, is calling for immediate clarity on how the money from the new tax, raised through the Apprenticeship Levy, will be redistributed. OPITO is concerned that no decision has been made by the Scottish government on this, despite the UK government confirming the amount the Scottish government will receive and clarifying how the money will be spent in England. John McDonald, UK managing director of OPITO, said, “The apprenticeship levy will be introduced on April 1, 2017.

Photo: Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Plans Remain on Track

Aberdeen Harbour Board has reinforced its ongoing commitment to expansion plans at Nigg Bay it was announced, but a final decision on the project still awaits the necessary planning consents. At its October meeting the Board maintained clear support for the project to continue, but recognized that a final decision would be subject to the outcome of applications for a Harbour Revision Order and two Marine Licences, which are currently under review by the Scottish Government.

Dr Grahaeme Henderson. Photo:  UK Chamber of Shipping 2016

UK Chamber President Calls on Government to Do More to Support Maritime Sector

Dr Grahaeme Henderson, President of the UK Chamber of Shipping has called on government, in Scotland and in Whitehall to provide further support to the UK maritime sector to ensure that jobs and businesses are able to face the challenges presented by current market conditions. In a keynote speech to industry leaders and Scottish government representatives at the UK Chamber’s inaugural Summer Lunch in Edinburgh, Dr Henderson said: “The Scottish maritime industry contributes nearly £2 billion to the economy…

Ferguson Marine. Photo by Clyde Blowers Capital

GBP1mln Grant to Create 100 Jobs at Ferguson Shipyard

The last commercial shipyard on the Clyde, Scotland, has secured grant to help safeguard 125 jobs and create a further 100. Ferguson shipyard has been awarded a £1m grant to refurbish its Port Glasgow premises and help fund new jobs. Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) received the grant from Scottish Enterprise which will boost the number of full time staff from 150 to 250 at Port Glasgow. The  Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) funding will contribute to Ferguson Marine's redevelopment of its premises and investment in new state of the art equipment.

Two Named to NSRI Board

Melfort Campbell and Martin Jones have been appointed to strengthen the board of the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI). With impressive pedigrees in innovation and technology in the subsea industry, these new board members will help NSRI deliver its aim of bringing new technology to market that will reduce costs and deliver efficiencies and help the UK subsea sector maintain its world-leading position. NSRI is the focal point for research and development in the UK’s subsea sector, which is worth $13.9billion to the economy.

Image:  CalMac Ferries Limited

Ferguson to Build Two CalMac Ferries

Scottish minister Nicola Sturgeon have named Ferguson shipyard as the preferred bidder for a £97 million contract for the biggest new ferries on the Clyde since 2001 in a deal that could secure more than 150 jobs. The move will provide boost for shipbuilding in the civilian shipyard on the River Clyde Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited (FMEL) and the local economy around a year after the owners of the shipyard went into administration. Ferguson was taken over by Clyde Blowers billionaire and former Scottish independence supporter Jim McColl last year.

Jim McColl (Photo: Clyde Blowers Capital)

Plans to Restore UK Shipbuilding Welcomed by Union Groups

Reports that businessman Jim McColl, who purchased the Ferguson Marine Yard last year, plans to resurrect commercial shipbuilding on the lower reaches of the Clyde have been welcomed by organizations such as GMB Scotland and the Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions (CSEU). It has been reported that McColl is looking into Greenock's Inchgreen dry dock to build oceangoing commercial ships. This could potentially create many hundreds of jobs, and depending on the success of tenders, the potential number of jobs could be exceptional, says GMB Scotland. “Mr.

BP, Conoco Cutting North Sea Jobs

Oil majors BP and ConocoPhillips will cut over 500 jobs in the North Sea following similar moves by rivals to reduce costs in one of the world's most expensive exploration areas as oil prices tumble. Although the cuts are relatively small for companies with dozens of thousands of employees, they come at a politically sensitive time in Britain as the Scottish independence debate continues and a May parliamentary election looms. BP said the cuts of 200 onshore staff and 100 contractors…

Scotland 'Yes' Vote Would Trigger Dispute Over Old Oil Rigs

Scotland will ask Britain to help finance the cost of removing old North Sea rigs and pipelines even if it votes for independence and gains most of the oil revenues, a move that bankers and lawyers say may result in years of legal battles. An independent Scotland would benefit from most of the new revenues from North Sea oil output - worth $50 billion a year - but it will nevertheless ask Britain to co-finance some $60 billion of decommissioning to remove old platforms and pipelines.

Image courtesy of Moore Stephens

Scottish Independence Would Hurt Maritime Sector

A vote for independence from the U.K. would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by leading international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The survey elicited the views of leading members of the international shipping community on the predicted impact on Scotland’s shipping and offshore maritime industry of the country voting for independence on September 18 2014. More than half the number of respondents to the survey felt that a vote for independence would have a negative effect.

Scots flag: Image couresy of Maritime UK

What About Maritime Safety if Scotland Chooses Independence?

In response to the Scottish Government's release of the 2014 pre-referrendum White Paper 'Scotland Future', shipping organization Maritime UK members suggest that the publication raises as many questions as it does answers. Maritime UK members have had constructive engagement with the Scottish Government in recent months, but today’s White Paper provides some interesting nuggets – raising as many questions as it does answers. In particular, they note this extract hidden away on page 418.

Donald Trump Angered by Scotland Planning Decision

Consent for an offshore wind farm off Aberdeen, opposed by Donald Trump,  has been granted by the Scottish government. The £230m development consists of 11 wind turbines. Mr Trump claims they would spoil the sea views for golfers on his course at Menie, where he also wants to build a 140-bedroom hotel. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project is a joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg). The project is aimed at providing enough energy for more than 49,000 homes. Source: BBC News

Photo credit Aberdeen Harbour Board

Aberdeen Harbour Steps Expansion Plan Forward

Scotland's Aberdeen Harbour Board submits its 'Directions for Growth' document to the National Planning Framework. In response to a call for candidate developments the document outlines the findings from an ongoing feasibility study, which was launched in September to assess the viability of potential expansion options for a new or improved harbour facility. Three potential locations out with the existing harbour have been considered – North Beach, immediately to the north of the harbour…

Hybrid Ferry Project Takes Shape in Scotland

Scottish designers, engineers and shipbuilders are assembling the world’s first hybrid seagoing Ro-Pax ferries. The two revolutionary passenger and car ferries will each carry up to 150 passengers and 23 cars or two HGVs and provide a vital ferry service for a group of remote islands off the west Scottish coast. Powered by a dual diesel-electric system which reduces their fuel and CO2 consumption by at least 20%, the 43.5 metre long vessels will be delivered next year. The Small Ferries project…

Major Offshore Scotland Wind Farm Project Awaits Go-ahead

Formal application for a project with 125 wind turbines off the coast of Angus, Scotland has been progressed. Formal application for approval of a £1.4billion project featuring up to 125 wind turbines has been put forward by Mainstream Renewable Power to the authority Marine Scotland. The Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) windfarm at a site almost 10 miles off Fife Ness. The company has been granted exclusive rights by the Scottish Government to develop plans for the site, which was chosen for its water depth, ground conditions, low shipping density and optimal windspeed.

HRH The Prince of Wales (The Duke of Rothesay) delivered the keynote address.

World Fisheries Congress Opens in Edinburgh

HRH The Duke of Rothesay addressed global fisheries leaders on sustainability. The world’s fisheries community gathered in Edinburgh today (Tuesday, 8 May) to discuss the future of sustainable fishing at the 6th World Fisheries Congress. Organised by The World Council of Fisheries Societies, the congress is being held at Edinburgh International Conference Centre and will address “Sustainable Fisheries in a Changing World”. The event draws leading international figures influential in driving debate and shaping global policy on fishing.

Fiona Mackay, Scientist at Lux Assure.

Successful North Sea Methanol Monitoring Trial

LUX Assure launches chemical monitoring product after successful field trial with North Sea Operator. LUX Assure, a company specialising in the development of chemical monitoring technologies for the oil and gas industry, has launched its first product to market following a number of successful field trials with North Sea oil majors. The Aberdeen-based firm is forecasting £100,000 of sales in 2012, with an expected accessible global market of over £1million per year. OMMICA is…

Michael Blease-Shepley, one of the speakers at AREG members’ event

AREG Members Tackle Renewable Challenges

Asset integrity and initiatives to tackle skills shortages are among the subjects to be discussed when Aberdeen City and Shire’s leading renewable energy industry body hosts a business seminar in Aberdeen today (Tuesday, October 18). Leading figures from five of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group’s (AREG) member organizations will be highlighting and addressing current industry issues. They will also brief fellow members on recent developments and emerging solutions in their specialist areas.