Port of Cromarty Firth has reported a “hugely resilient” year, reporting turnover of £12.7m, despite the pandemic.
A large share of this turnover was a direct result of growth in the renewable energy sector, as well as the effect of Covid-19 on the oil and gas industry. Renewable energy generated 43% of the port’s income during 2020.
The increase in both renewable energy activities and rigs being anchored in the Firth presented opportunities for local supply chain businesses in marshalling and assembly as well as in inspection, repair and maintenance.
The port generated a profit before tax of £4.8m, despite many parts of the economy being paralysed due to the effects of lockdown restrictions.
The port’s new £31m laydown facilities in Invergordon, and Global Energy Group’s Nigg energy park, supported the construction of the 950 MegaWatt (MW) Moray East Offshore Windfarm.
The Port also continued to lay down future foundations to take advantage of a sustainable pipeline of opportunities for the region and supply chain through offshore wind, floating offshore wind and green hydrogen.
It also took a leading role in two initiatives dedicated to helping Scotland reach net zero emissions targets by 2045. First was the North Scotland Hydrogen programme, whose aim is the creation of a green hydrogen hub in the Cromarty Firth.
However, the loss of cruise business was felt acutely, as it followed a 2019 season which was valued at £18m to the regional economy.
Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “Last year was a year like no other experienced at the port, so we are extremely pleased to be able to record such excellent results for 2020.
“Our ability to achieve a turnover and surplus like this is testament to the hard work, dedication and flexibility not only of our staff but of our wider local supply chain and stakeholders.
“The opportunities presented by offshore wind, floating offshore wind and green hydrogen to the Cromarty Firth, the Highlands and Scotland are very significant and will bring skilled jobs and high-wage opportunities to the region.”
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