Port of Nigg family open day attracts over 1,000 to celebrate history – and look to the future

Roy MacGregor (left), chairman of Global Energy Group, and operations director Charlie Morrison hailed the Port of Nigg open day a success. (Photo: James MacKenzie)

OVER 1,000 members of the Highland community turned out this weekend (Saturday, June 24) for a rare chance to get up close and personal with the Port of Nigg during its inaugural family open day.

The sun shone on the free event, which allowed visitors to tour operational areas not often open to the public – and to explore the port’s past, present and future.

Hundreds of attendees browsed an exhibition on the port and boarded free bus tours, learning about the port’s deep rooted history within the energy sector, as well as its reputation as a leading hub for renewables and its commitment to transitioning to net zero by 2045.

Roy MacGregor, chairman of Global Energy Group, which took over operation of the port in 2011, said: “We were thrilled to see so many people interested in Port of Nigg and what we do – and keen to learn about all the incredible developments that are coming in the future of energy production.

“While Nigg was once known as a hub for oil and gas, it is increasingly associated with renewables – especially with the appointment of the Green Freeport. It’s important to us that the community understands what we do, and are with us on our journey into the future of energy production.

“The comments and feedback from the event so far have been very positive. It has been fantastic to share our port with so many people, and get together to celebrate our community.”

During the day, visitors learned about the port’s history in oil and gas – and how it has become a leading force in wind, hydro and subsea energy production.

A rare chance to see FPSO Excalibur – brought in for servicing for the first time in 14 years – and innovative subsea turbines used in the Pentland Firth were highlights for those keen to learn more about what goes on each day at the port.

Attendee Richard Cherry, who has lived in Fortrose for around 20 years, said: “I was aware of the development of Nigg in the early days of North Sea oil, and we’ve used the ferry many times, but I hadn’t realised the port had gone through a period of almost being abandoned before Global Energy Group took it over.

“Roy MacGregor had the vision to see it had a new future in wind energy and renewables. A strong vision for the future came through all day – it was great to see us making things for ourselves rather than importing over vast distances.

“The sheer scale of the port, and being able to see these enormous structures up close, was also very impressive.

“The generosity of Global Energy Group in providing the catering, and ensuring there was fun for all the family, was brilliant. Global Energy Group provides a lot of support to the community, and long may it continue.”

As well as the opportunity to learn about the port, visitors had the chance to try out Team Challenge Company’s Red Alert interactive challenge. Younger visitors could also enjoy balloon modelling, juggling and clowning with Bubbles and Mrs Bubbles, and face painting by Claire Carson – alongside a Port of Nigg themed scavenger hunt and bouncy castles. Delicious street food and woodfired pizzas were provided by Bubble & Goose and The Storehouse.

As a major contributor to the local and national economy, Global Energy Group, which purchased the Port of Nigg in 2011, has since invested in excess of £120m transforming the facility into what is widely recognised as a leading renewables superhub at the cutting edge of green energy production. For more information, visit www.gegroup.com or www.nigg.com

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