MEMBER NEWS: Energy Secretary sees transition in action at Port of Aberdeen

January 16, 2024
MEMBER NEWS: Energy Secretary sees transition in action at Port of Aberdeen

Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, visited Port of Aberdeen today (15 January) to see first-hand its role in driving economic growth and supporting Scotland’s Just Transition.

During his visit to the port’s £420 million Aberdeen South Harbour expansion, which officially opened in September 2023, Mr Gray learned about the port’s evolution into a world-class marine logistics hub for the offshore wind industry, alongside its ongoing support for North Sea oil and gas operations.

Mr Gray was briefed on a proposed multi-million pound dredging project at South Harbour. This project, aimed at boosting the harbour’s capacity for floating wind operations, involves deepening the basin along Dunnottar Quay to -14m below chart datum.

Cabinet Secretary for the Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray said:

“The transformational Port of Aberdeen is a hugely important gateway to Scotland’s economy and a catalyst for growth in energy, trade and tourism in the North East and across the country

“Underlining our absolute determination to maximise the economic opportunities and benefits from our offshore wind potential, we are kick-starting our commitment to anchor our offshore wind supply chain in Scotland with investment of £67 million next year.

“This is the first tranche of our pledge to invest up to £500 million over the next five years.

“The recently completed construction of South Harbour, with support from the Scottish Government and its agencies, to service the floating offshore wind industry and reduce maritime emissions will help propel Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy which is fair, green and growing.”

Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, Port of Aberdeen, said: “We have invested £420 million in a strategic asset that will benefit Scotland and the wider UK. The expanded port has the potential to support 17,500 jobs and deliver £2.4bn Gross Value Added. However, this requires a carefully managed energy transition, balancing a strong oil and gas industry committed to achieving net zero with the growing renewables sector. An abrupt decline could severely impact the port, its clients, and the specialised supply chain.

“Port of Aberdeen is a case study of energy transition in action. We’re continuing to support our customers in oil and gas and onto decommissioning, while increasing our renewables business through existing and planned offshore wind developments.

“Optimising South Harbour for floating offshore wind will ensure the unrivalled energy supply chain in Aberdeen and wider North East of Scotland can maximise the opportunities presented by ScotWind and INTOG. However, we can’t do it on our own, and partnership with the public and private sectors will build on an existing strategic asset to deliver Scotland’s offshore wind ambitions.”

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise