Forty years after oil first started flowing from the North Sea, Aberdeen harbour is now progressing expansion plans at nearby Nigg Bay as the industry now prepares for end-of-life decommissioning.
Although the possible expansion of Aberdeen Harbour into Nigg Bay is still a feasibility study, the three main elements of the required planning consent application, a Harbour Revision Order, marine licences and planning permission in principle have been submitted.
A final decision on the project is expected this autumn.
Colin Parker, Aberdeen Harbour chief executive, said: “The region has seen considerable change over the last 12 months and the repercussions of this have also had an impact on the Harbour. While the high levels of traffic we have experienced as a result of the North Sea oil and gas sector has slowed, we are witnessing growth in other areas.
“This is a key driver for the potential expansion of Aberdeen Harbour into Nigg Bay, particularly as we see increased investment in decommissioning activity and growing interest from the cruise ship industry.
“The proposed deep-water quays at Nigg Bay would complement the existing capabilities, experience and established suite of service providers, already in place at the current harbour, while opening up the port to new market potential.”
Meanwhile, the harbour reported a 21% rise in pre-tax profits of £15.03 million in 2015, compared to £12.4 million the previous year.