A HIGHLAND port set to become an “offshore wind hub” has received a further £100 million of investment from two government-owned banks, a company has announced.

Haventus, the energy transition company that owns Ardersier Port in the Moray Firth, has now secured a total of £400m for the construction of new port facilities that it says will underpin the creation of a “nationally significant facility” for the industrial-scale deployment of new offshore wind turbines.

Work has already begun on a new 650-metre quay wall and associated quayside, and the completed 450-acre site, with quayside access and infrastructure for the marshalling, integration, manufacture, and assembly of offshore wind components, is set to open in 2025.

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In 2023 the project received £300m from energy investment firm Quantum Capital Group, and the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) and UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) have now each invested a further £50m.

Haventus chief executive Lewis Gillies said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of the two banks as important partners in this nationally significant project.

“With their support, and that of Quantum, Ardersier Port is poised to become a critical offshore wind hub and an important job creator and enabler.

“It will play a crucial role in helping the country meet its net zero ambitions.

“With work now under way on site, we aim to have the facility open and operational in the second half of next year.”

Once complete, the company says the site will be the largest dedicated offshore wind deployment port facility in Scotland, capable of hosting and supporting gigawatt scale projects.

It is also one of the largest industrial regeneration projects in the Highlands in decades, and is set to re-establish the port as a major local employer by creating and supporting hundreds of jobs.

First Minister John Swinney (below) said the development would help deliver a “fairer, greener future for everyone”.

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He said: “Scotland’s growing offshore wind capabilities present an era-defining opportunity – not only to achieve a just transition to net zero, but to harness the skills which lie across our energy sector and wider supply chain to create thousands of green jobs and transform our regional and national economies.

“The Ardersier Port redevelopment, which is central to the ambitions of the ground-breaking Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, exemplifies this opportunity.

“This show of support from both banks demonstrates the huge confidence in this new facility and its role in helping deliver a fairer, greener future for everyone.”

Andrew Bowie (below), UK Government minister for nuclear and renewables, described Scotland as a “pioneer” in offshore wind technology.

The National: Andrew Bowie

“The UK has a record on offshore wind it can be truly proud of, with the most installed capacity in Europe and home to the five largest operational windfarms off our shores,” he said.

“Scotland is a pioneer in this important technology, and infrastructure investment of this size is a welcome boost to our clean energy targets, while supporting the local economy with new jobs and opportunities.”

The £100m investment is the first time SNIB and UKIB have co-financed a project since the two banks signed a memorandum of understanding formalising their close working relationship on projects in Scotland.

Al Denholm, SNIB chief executive, said: “We expect the site at Ardersier to be of significant strategic importance in supporting the growing offshore wind industry over the coming years.

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“We are pleased to fund this development and to be doing so with the UK Infrastructure Bank.

“The project perfectly aligns to our net zero mission and illustrates the benefits of our two organisations working together.”

This was echoed by John Lamont, UK government Scotland Minister, who described the banks’ decision to invest in the project as “fantastic news.”

He added: “I look forward to both banks working together again to help deliver further transformational projects.”