Expanded Port of Aberdeen’s multi-billion pound economic and jobs boost


Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today (22 September 2023) officially opens Port of Aberdeen’s transformational £420 million expansion project, catalysing a multi-billion pound economic and jobs boost for Scotland.

Already an economic powerhouse for the region, independent analysis forecast that when the expanded Port of Aberdeen reaches its full potential the port’s Gross Value Added contribution will jump 60% to £2.4 billion and increase the number of jobs supported by 45% to an incredible 17,500.

Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, Port of Aberdeen, said:

“We’re honoured that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is joining us for this monumental occasion. Port of Aberdeen is the UK’s oldest business and we’re now officially opening the country’s newest harbour. Aberdeen’s expanded port promises a vibrant future for energy, trade, and tourism across Scotland on the road to net zero, unlocking new jobs and attracting investment to the region. 

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said: 

“As the largest new marine infrastructure project in the UK, Port of Aberdeen’s South Harbour will have a huge positive impact on the North East of Scotland and will be a national asset of strategic significance to Scotland. 

“The Port of Aberdeen is at the forefront of the vital transition to net zero. It will be key to helping pivot our economy towards new decarbonised technologies and fuels, not least in facilitating the growth in offshore wind and developing tidal wave research. 

“Aberdeen South Harbour has the potential to capitalise on the existing, strong energy supply chain located in the North East of Scotland.” 

Minister for Nuclear and Networks, Andrew Bowie said: 

“I am thrilled to attend the opening of the Aberdeen South Harbour - this is a staggering feat of British engineering excellence and I look forward to seeing the transformational impact it will have on the local area.

“Constructing the largest marine infrastructure project in Trust Port history shows this country’s ability to attract inward investment, delivering jobs, economic growth and prosperity to the local community while helping us achieve our climate goals.”

More than 250 stakeholders are attending the opening event on Dunnottar Quay which will be marked with The Princess Royal unveiling a plaque and ‘Octopode Accropode’ structure which was specially designed and painted by local street artist, Craig Fisher.

Upon her arrival, The Princess Royal will be welcomed by His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeen David Cameron and Roy Buchan, Chair, Port of Aberdeen, followed by introductions to Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, Port of Aberdeen, ministers from the Scottish Government and UK Government, and Steve Murray, Port Chaplain for the Aberdeen Seafarer Centre.

During the event, The Princes Royal will engage with a wide range of people who helped take Aberdeen South Harbour from concept to completion, as well as representatives from the private, public and third sectors.

Port of Aberdeen’s continued commitment to supporting those most in need will be highlighted at the event with £30,000 of funding awarded to local charities and community group projects, such as Aberdeen Cyrenians, Aberdeen Science Centre and Befriend a Child. This takes the port’s charitable donations through its supPORT-all community action programme in 2023 to £70,000.

At the peak of construction, there were 300 people working onsite and more than 30 companies from across the North East of Scotland were involved in the construction of Aberdeen South Harbour. These local organisations played an instrumental role in the successful completion and benefitted from contact awards of £44 million since 2020, with a further £16 million of work delivered by companies across the rest of Scotland,

The new harbour has generated more than £3 million of revenue during its phased opening and is attracting vessels and projects that would have previously sailed past the city, often destined for a European port.

This increased activity in energy, trade and tourism supports local jobs, attracts local supply chain spend and investment, and the profits generated are reinvested back into the port to improve the facilities for future generations.

With Aberdeen South Harbour complete, Port of Aberdeen is the largest berthage port in Scotland. The new facility, next to the Energy Transition Zone, can accommodate vessels up to 300m in length, with port users and customer benefiting from an additional 1.5km of deepwater berths, to a maximum depth of 15m, 125,000sqm of flexible project areas and significant heavy lift capacity. The expanded port is a recognised development under the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4.

The expansion project was significantly self-funded by the port with valuable support from the European Investment Bank, Scottish National Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise, and Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council through the Aberdeen City Region Deal. 

Roy Buchan, Chair, Port of Aberdeen, said:

“Today marks a new chapter in our almost 900 years of history. Aberdeen South Harbour is transformational for the port, local communities, the supply chain and wider region. We look forward to working with our partners across the private sector and public sector to maximise the potential of this new facility.”

Chair of the City Region Deal Joint Committee Cllr Anne Stirling said: 

“The expansion of Aberdeen Harbour has significant implications across the city, the shire, the City Region Deal area. It is a project which really represents joint working, in the interests of the users of the South Harbour now and in future. That is why City Region Deal investment in the project was so important, allowing us another avenue to progress our net zero ambitions, expanding and increasing the tourism markets into the North east via the cruise vessels, investing in the surrounding infrastructure and road network. On behalf of the whole Joint Committee I would like to welcome the inauguration and look forward to many years of positive working to come.”


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