Energy giant SSE, Port of Dundee owner Forth Ports, enterprise agency Scottish Enterprise and local authority Dundee City Council have joined forces under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to secure Dundee’s position as a vibrant hub for Scotland’s rapidly-developing offshore renewables sector.
Representatives of the four organisations discussed their plans with First Minister Alex Salmond today, 15 December 2011, at St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, where they signed the MoU.
SSE is one of the UK’s leading developers of offshore renewable energy, with major offshore wind projects situated off the east coast. SSE has therefore identified Dundee as a key strategic location for the development of its offshore wind supply chain. The company has taken a proactive approach to developing its offshore wind supply chain, forming strategic alliances and investing directly in companies of strategic importance.
Recognised as a key asset in Scotland’s National Renewable Infrastructure Plan, the Port of Dundee and the wider City of Dundee have a fundamental role to play in the future development of a comprehensive supply chain to support Scotland’s emerging offshore wind industry. Initial work, which will be funded by the National Renewable Infrastructure Fund, will capitalise on the Port’s strategic location and competitive advantage by maximising the use of existing space and providing a solid foundation for future investment and expansion.
Scottish Enterprise estimates that as the offshore wind sector develops in the coming years, the Port of Dundee has the potential to support in the region of 700 jobs in offshore wind manufacturing, with further major opportunities for off-port supply chain development in the Dundee area.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland’s unrivalled offshore wind resource can help power our own economy and provide clean energy beyond our shores. But we also have a fantastic opportunity to become an industrial base for the wider European offshore renewables industry. Our low carbon energy industry is already bringing together a range of enterprises – from major Scottish-based utilities such as SSE, home-grown clean-tech developers and traditional offshore companies expanding their renewables business, to global engineering giants and other European power providers investing in clean energy in Scottish waters.
“I’m determined that communities across Scotland will contribute to and benefit from the renewables revolution that’s sweeping Europe and beyond. As one of our great port cities, Dundee is ideally-placed to become a key hub for the rapidly growing multi-billion pound offshore renewables industry, particularly and initially in offshore wind. The partners have all recognised and seized the opportunity by agreeing this MoU today. The work that follows the signing of the MoU will not only ensure that the port is used most effectively, but will ensure that the public and private sector work together to re-energise the city more widely, through associated infrastructural improvements and economic benefits.”
Sandy Biggar, Director of Procurement for SSE: “Today’s announcement of our development intentions shows the strength of our commitment to Dundee and we look forward to working with the local authority, enterprise agencies and the people of Dundee to attract world class offshore wind suppliers to the city.”
Lena Wilson, chief executive at Scottish Enterprise said: “The Port of Dundee and the wider city region have a crucial role to play in the future of Scotland’s renewables sector. We have a short window of opportunity to put in place the critical infrastructure for a prosperous developing industry and this partnership will bring the public and private sector together with one goal in mind – to create the ideal breeding ground for Scotland’s renewable supply chain to generate maximum economic and environmental benefit.”
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, SSE and Dundee City Council on this significant project for the Port of Dundee. Our ports in Scotland play a key role in supporting Scotland’s economy and this agreement gives great confidence that our Port in Dundee will maximise its competitive advantage as a key location for SSE’s supply chain and a renewables hub for the offshore wind industry."
Ken Guild, Chair of Dundee renewables and Leader of the Administration at Dundee City Council, said: “We have been pursuing Dundee's case at the highest levels with our partners and this Memorandum of Understanding represents a renewed opportunity to maximise the city's potential in the renewables industry. I welcome SSE's choice of the Port of Dundee as a prime location for the delivery of its ambitious offshore wind projects. The city council will do everything it can to support efforts by Forth Ports and SSE to build a successful commercial development.”
The new partnership signals a collaborative approach to securing a competitive solution for the delivery of sustainable manufacturing jobs and a flourishing supply chain for Dundee. Scottish Enterprise will now undertake a planning exercise on behalf of the partners which will maximise available space at the port and inform future priorities.