INVERNESS, UK – Ardersier Port, formerly one of Britain’s largest offshore construction yards, is being transformed into an ‘Energy Transition Facility’, recycling offshore oil and gas rigs to form the foundations for future floating offshore wind farms.
Work is due to start shortly on a £20-million ($26.64-million) dredging program to remove 2.5 MMcm of sand to expand the facility.
Over the next five years the port’s owners plan to offer Ardersier for:
- Platform/rig decommissioning
- Waste from energy recovery
- A £300-million ($400-million) green steel plant, powered by offshore wind and energy from waste
- A concrete production plant using dredged sand from the port, by-products from the steel plant and energy from the waste facility
- A floating wind hub for concrete floating wind foundation manufacturing, expected to be the largest of its type in the UK.
Once dredging at the port finishes next summer, a slipway will be constructed to allow floating oil and gas structures to be taken onshore prior to removal of contaminants and decommissioning.
Ardersier Port has an agreement with BW Ideol, giving it exclusive access for the manufacture of its concrete floating wind foundations.
BW Ideol, Elicio and BayWa r.e, collectively the Floating Energy Allyance, have submitted applications for offshore wind development rights in the ScotWind leasing round run, with a decision due early next year.
They have committed to manufacture all their floating concrete foundations in Scotland.
BW Ideol’s CEO Paul de la Gueriviere said: “The lack of large infrastructure is a bottle neck to deliver the number of floating foundations required for the UK market’s ambitious development plans, both in terms of local content and the production rate expected. Ardersier Port is a unique facility to unlock these constraints.
“In comparison to steel foundations, floating wind offers a unique opportunity to combine both price competitiveness and local manufacturing, thanks to BW Ideol’s unique concrete floater solution. As an early mover in the market, we have engaged with the port’s owners for several years, sharing a joint vision to create a circular and sustainable local supply chain.”