Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has officially opened the Port of Aberdeen’s transformational £420 million expansion project. How will this catalyse an economic and jobs boost for Scotland?
The expansion of the Aberdeen South Harbour has made the Port of Aberdeen the largest berthage port in Scotland. This new facility, next to the Energy Transition Zone, can accommodate vessels up to 300m in length.
It has added 1.5km of deepwater berths, a maximum depth of 15m, 125,000 sqm of flexible project areas, and significant heavy lift capacity.
The project will help to maximise the region’s energy potential
An independent analysis forecast has said that when the expanded Port of Aberdeen reaches its full potential, the port’s Gross Value Added contribution will jump 60 per cent to £2.4 billion and increase the number of jobs supported by 45 per cent to 17,500.
Bob Sanguinetti, CEO at Port of Aberdeen explained that the boost will help to secure future investment for the region: “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.
Showing the focus on unlocking new jobs, at the peak of construction, there were 300 people working on site and more than 30 companies from across the North East of Scotland involved in the construction of the Aberdeen South Harbour.
These local organisations played an instrumental role in the successful completion and benefited from awards of £44 million since 2020, with a further £16 million of work delivered by companies across the rest of Scotland.
Port authorities have said that the new harbour has already generated over £3 million in revenue during its phased opening.
In addition to this, it is attracting vessels and projects that would have previously bypassed the city, often bound for European ports.
David Whitehouse, OEUK’s CEO revealed that the expansion of the harbour will support the decarbonisation of many sectors: “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.
Investment will be reinvested back into the port to support the local community
The expansion project was significantly self-funded by the port with valuable support from the European Investment Bank, Scottish National Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise, plus Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council through the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
Chair of the City Region Deal Joint Committee, Councillor Anne Stirling, expressed that working in collaboration is key to futureproofing.
She said: “The expansion of Aberdeen Harbour has significant implications across the city, the shire, the City Region Deal area. It is a project which really represents joint working, in the interests of the users of the South Harbour now and in future.”
The Councillor continued by highlighting that the project will help support the region in meeting its net zero targets: “That is why City Region Deal investment in the project was so important, allowing us another avenue to progress our net zero ambitions, expanding and increasing the tourism markets into the North East via the cruise vessels, investing in the surrounding infrastructure and road network.”
On behalf of the whole Joint Committee I would like to welcome the inauguration and look forward to many years of positive working to come.
The expansion of the harbour is going to be pivotal in increasing activity in energy, trade, and tourism. This will have a domino effect in supporting local jobs, attracting local supply chain spend and investment, and seeing this reinvested back into the port to improve the facilities for future generations.