First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed the successful sale of the Nigg fabrication site on the Cromarty Firth to Global Energy Group (GEG).
GEG has today announced the completion of the sale from American company KBR and the Wakelyn Trust. The purchase paves the way for ambitious plans to develop the 238 acre site servicing the energy industry, including oil & gas and renewables.
The company expects around 2000 people to be employed on the site by 2015.
Visiting the site this morning, the First Minister said:
"Scotland has huge natural resources and a wealth of expertise in offshore engineering. Global Energy Group's purchase of the Nigg yard provides an unprecedented opportunity to harness both of these and help build a new renewables industry with the potential to reindustrialise communities across Scotland.
"Nigg is an excellent location for offshore oil and gas and renewables manufacturing. The scale and water depth here are ideal for fabrication and maintenance of the great electricity devices that will power the economies of the future.
"The sale of the site is something that has been long-awaited and I am pleased it has been secured by an ambitious Scottish company with a strong existing business and a big vision for the future.
"Following the successful sale of the site, I am pleased to announce public investment of £1.8 million to help support the transformation of the Nigg yard into an important renewables hub.
"This support - delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise - will help turn Nigg from a site that has lain largely dormant for a decade into a major manufacturer of green energy machinery.
"The Scottish Government is determined to do all we can to promote the low carbon economy that is key to our nation's future and the transformation of the Nigg yard will play an important part in that in the years to come."
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson also welcomed the announcement that Nigg fabrication yard has been sold to local firm Global Energy.
Mr Gibson was commenting following a visit from the First Minister Alex Salmond and himself to the Easter Ross facility.
A long time campaigner for the site to be re-energised, Mr Gibson said:
“This is a fantastic breakthrough. It has been a long time coming and will be a huge boost to the Easter Ross and wider Highland economy as many new jobs can be created now.
“During this election one question that kept on occurring around Easter Ross was what is happening at Nigg?
“No one can underestimate the importance of Nigg to much of the population of Easter Ross. It has been one of the SNP colleagues’ goals to see it reopen. That is why the First Minister visited during the election campaign and why he was here today.
“The renewables revolution will offer many opportunities across the Highlands and Islands, and with new owners in place Nigg can act as a catalyst for many firms across the north and west. The benefits from this purchase will be widely felt.
“I congratulate Roy Macgregor and his team at Global Energy on the long hours and hard work they have put in for this day to come - It is clear that these new owners are committed to the local area and economy.”