Nigg Energy Park

A MAJOR Ross-shire employer’s plans to expand its fabrication yard on the Cromarty Firth is set to be given the green light.

An application by Global Energy Nigg Ltd for the extension of an assembly shop at Nigg Energy Park to create a huge 179-metre blast and paint facility, has been recommended for approval when it goes before planners next week.

The proposals also include a smaller compressor building as use land for the storage of raw materials and fabricated products in connection with manufacturing for the offshore renewables sector.

If approved, it will create at least 300 jobs and strengthen the port’s position as a leader in renewable energy. It will allow for 20,000 square metres of new floor space and is aimed at helping the firm win bids for offshore renewables fabrication work.

The Nigg yard is a large scale industrial complex covering flat reclaimed land and comprises extensive fabrication, assembly and warehouse buildings.

It also houses a graving dock and a quayside loading area for oil rigs and other vessels.

It was used as major oil fabrication yard from the 1970s to the late 1990s.

The yard lay virtually dormant until Global acquired it in 2011 and since then millions of pounds have been invested in the site.

During that time the yard has won contracts for subsea fabrication for the oil and gas sector, and for the nuclear industry.

Now, a report for Tuesday’s north planning applications committee has recommended that councillors approve the application.

It said: “This proposal represents a significant and welcome investment in the continued expansion and provision of additional facilities at Nigg yard.

“The proposal represents a major economic boost initially through the construction of the buildings but more importantly thereafter with the assembly and fabrication work at the yard through this investment.

“The development is expected to create approximately 300 jobs within the local area through its initial operation, this could increase in future dependant on demand.”