North Sea development strategy

Aberdeen Harbour is implementing a £65m, five-year development strategy to ensure it maintains its position as a leading port and gateway to the North Sea energy industry.

The investment will be used to improve facilities to meet existing and future customer needs. According to Aberdeen Harbour, a diverse range of supply vehicles operate through the port that will require these specialist facilities.

Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour, said: ‘We have experienced an increase in the number and size of vessels using the port. Since 1999 we have witnessed dramatic increases due to favourable economic conditions, but even in quieter times, activity has remained high.

‘Aberdeen Harbour provides a valuable support system to the oil and gas industry in the North Sea and also offers services for operators working in other oil regions throughout the world.’

In 1999, 4,212 offshore support vessels were used in Aberdeen Harbour. This figure increased by more than 20 per cent to 5,424 in 2008. In the same period, vessel tonnage increased from 9.14 million tonnes to 15.5 million tonnes.

According to latest data, more than 50 per cent of the port’s main activity is connected with the oil and gas industry. When combined with other traffic, this activity generates more than £420m for the region’s economy and supports more than 11,000 jobs.

Parker added: ‘Ensuring the port’s continued competitive position requires a strong and supportive board. Collectively they provide robust governance of the harbour, ensuring that, as a Trust port, all profits (£6.795m in 2008) are reinvested in developing and maintaining the port’s facilities to the highest standards. That way we can continue to meet the needs of an evolving energy sector supporting activity in the North Sea and beyond.’