Aberdeen Harbour Board has submitted a Directions for Growth document to the National Planning Framework, in response to its call for candidate developments.
The document outlines the findings from an ongoing feasibility study, which was launched in September to assess the viability of potential expansion options for a new or improved harbour facility.
Three potential locations have been considered – North Beach, immediately to the north of the harbour; Nigg Bay, immediately to the south of the harbour; and south of Cove Bay, approximately five miles south of the harbour.
Further research of the options – against criteria including the potential impact on traffic levels and the availability of land – indicates the south of Cove Bay and the North Beach options would likely result in significantly negative impacts.
The identification of these sites and the emergence of a potentially preferred site in Nigg Bay or the continued development of the existing harbour, will now be subject to additional analysis including traffic modelling and visual appraisal.
The potential viability of the locations will also be informed by the ongoing feasibility study, and consultations with customers, stakeholders, local communities and local authorities, as well as Scottish government-elected members and officials. The wider engagement plan starts in early 2013 and continue through the year.
Commenting on this latest development, Aberdeen Harbour Board Chief Executive Colin Parker said: “Any future development of the port will require a robust business case, however, Aberdeen Harbour is a key regional resource that generates more than £500million for the North East economy annually.
“Potential development opportunities will help safeguard the port and the city’s position within the energy industry, ensuring the harbour is equipped to accommodate the growth in activity anticipated in the years to come. With larger vessels and increasing traffic projected, enhancing facilities will ensure Aberdeen continues to meet the needs of customers while attracting new business to the North East of Scotland.
“With all the subsea related activity involved in the decommissioning of offshore installations, an upsurge in shipment of oil and gas equipment to key markets including Norway, Russia and Africa, and significant requirements for the support of offshore wind developments, our customers have also clearly indicated a need for consideration of expanded harbour facilities to accommodate their anticipated requirements in the long term.”