Seabed testing work starts as part of Port of Cromarty Firth expansion plans
Underwater testing work is getting under way at the Port of Cromarty Firth (PoCF) as part of preparations for a proposed major expansion of the Port’s capacity.
A jack-up barge has arrived at Invergordon and will be used to test and sample areas earmarked for the development over the coming weeks.
The testing is part of a range of pre-construction studies being carried out as the PoCF prepares to apply for the necessary licences for the project, which would almost double its existing capacity.
The proposed Phase 5 development at the Port is intended to help ensure the Firth becomes a key hub for manufacturing, marshalling and assembly work for the offshore wind industry and would involve an investment in the region of £150million.
PoCF chief executive, Bob Buskie, said: “Our area is going to play a key role in the rapid development of fixed and floating offshore wind and other sectors, such as green hydrogen, and is set to benefit hugely from the recent decision to establish a Green Freeport centred on Inverness and the Cromarty Firth.
“Our planned Phase 5 expansion is intended to help ensure we can position the Firth as the go-to hub for the offshore renewables sector, securing a long-term pipeline of projects and creating new jobs here.
“The works currently getting under way are required to test and sample the areas for this potential development and ascertain the ground conditions beneath the seabed. This will allow the piles, dredging, revetments and land reclamation to be suitably designed.”
The testing work will be carried out throughout March and April and in the early weeks of May, if required.