UK’s Ardersier Port is set to be transformed into Europe’s first fully circular energy transition facility where old oil rigs will be recycled to make foundations for floating offshore wind farms.
In the 1970s Ardersier – a vast and currently unused port 14 miles east of Inverness – was one of the largest oil rig fabrication yards in the world, employing up to 4500 workers.
At over 400 acres (162ha) and with more than a kilometre of quayside, Ardersier is the largest brownfield port in the UK.
According to BW Ideol, work is about to begin on a £20 million, nine-month ‘capital dredge’ – removing 2.5 million cubic metres of sand – which will open up the massive port once more.
Over the next five years the port’s owners will deliver:
- an oil rig decommissioning facility;
- a waste from energy recovery facility designed specifically to deal with special wastes;
- a £300 million green steel plant, powered by offshore wind and energy from waste;
- a concrete production plant utilising dredged sand from the port, and by products from the steel plant and energy from waste facility;
- a dedicated floating wind hub for concrete floating wind foundation manufacturing.
This will create the largest floating wind foundation fabrication, manufacturing and assembly facility in the UK – in an offshore wind market predicted to deliver 29,000 jobs and £43.6 billion to the UK economy by 2050.