Weekly update, 2nd September 2013

Energy/ Business Services:

Productive discussions this week with a potential inward investor in the energy sector. It was particularly encouraging to be able to demonstrate the joined-up approach we take to economic opportunity, with colleagues from HIE, Dounreay, Highland Council, North Highland College, HIAL, ports and businesses all involved in supporting roles.

Consultation events were held by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (part of the SSE Group) in Caithness this week. The company is developing proposals for a new 132kilovolt overhead line between the proposed new Thurso South substation at Geiselittle and a new substation at Phillips Mains near Mey. It has recently published a consultation document on the proposals, which can be viewed at http://www.sse.com/GillsBayRadial/ProjectInformation. The company has also applied to Scottish Ministers for consent to modify its planning application to build a 132kv line from Thurso to Mybster, the modification relating to the point where the line connects to the proposed Spittal AC Sub-station and HVDC convertor station.

It was also good to catch up this week with staff from Energy North, and to discuss current activities such as the Oil & Gas Task Force for the Highlands & Islands established under the Chairmanship of Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP.

Communications:

As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP’s partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:

  • The Partnership’s Advisory Board met this week, and discussed current activity in pursuit of the Partnership’s 2011-14 Delivery Plan, as well as discussing forward plans for the period beyond 2014. I am currently working with partners on recommendations for the post 2014 period, to be discussed by the Partnership’s Executive Board, so it was useful to have the advice and comments of Advisory Board members.
  • Caithness Renewables continues to develop its range of services, this week launching its “Offergy” and “Onergy” initiatives to recognise the volume of both offshore and onshore renewables work currently taking place. The news was given a welcome by Dan Pearson, Chief Executive of Meygen Ltd, and myself. http://caithnesschamber.com/News/archive/caithness-energy-firm-relaunches-on-and-offshore-services
  • Further evidence of the international attention being attracted by the Thurso Cinema, as it is used as an example of the future of cinemas at an international Digital Conference in Poland last month. You can read more at http://www.mediasalles.it/dgt_online/DGT_online_informer_94/news.htm
  • KP Technology of Wick was recognised this week following its second  prestigious Queen’s Award. The award of a “Queen’s Award for International Trade” follows the previous success with the “Queen’s Award for Innovation” in 2008. http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Wick-firm-scoops-second-royal-honour-05092013.htm