Weekly update, 26th September

Energy & Business Services:
• Activity at Scrabster harbour has continued this week, as more ballast blocks are transported through Thurso from JGC Engineering Services Ltd’s base at Janetstown. These huge (c. 200 tonne) steel blocks will form part of the foundations for the turbines (see http://atlantisresourcesltd.com/projects/meygen-scotland.html for an illustration of how they will look). The jack-up vessel “Juniper” that will install the foundations and turbines was in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth last weekend to begin preparations for the turbine installations. Atlantis Resources reports that the Juniper’s sea-trials were successful, and were carried out in a current with speed of 3.2 metres per second (6.2 knots).

200 tonne ballast block being transported through Thurso to Scrabster harbour, 24th September 2016

200 tonne ballast block being transported through Thurso to Scrabster harbour, 24th September 2016

Jack-up vessel Juniper carries out sea-trials for installation of tidal turbines, with Stroma island behind. 25th September 2016.

Jack-up vessel Juniper carries out sea-trials for installation of tidal turbines, with Stroma island behind. 25th September 2016.


• Further contract awards associated with the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project have also been announced – contractor Siem has awarded a subcontract to cabling firm JDR to manufacture and supply around 163km of 33kV cabling which will provide connections between the up to 84 turbines planned for installation. http://renews.biz/104336/siem-ropes-jdr-for-beatrice/ and contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting has also announced a subcontract with German company EEW to manufacture and supply the steel jacket foundations for the turbines. http://renews.biz/104325/eew-pipes-up-for-beatrice/
• Also news this week that engineering company Atkins has been awarded a contract to carry out further detailed FEED (front end engineering design) work on the proposed floating offshore wind demonstrator project which Swedish company Hexacon hopes to develop at a site some 6km north of Dounreay. http://renews.biz/104372/atkins-designs-on-hexicon-floater/

Enabling activities:
• Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd has been working over the last 18 months to encourage the principle of socio-economic benefits into decommissioning contracts. So it is very encouraging this week to see the first formal evidence of this working in practice, with the announcement that Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded the contract to design and build an effluent treatment plant at Dounreay. http://www.dounreay.com/news/2016-09-26/waste-contract-signals-dounreays-community-commitment-
• CNSRP partner HIE continues its very useful and inspiring series of workshops and webinars with an introductory workshop for businesses on “Preparing to Export”. The event, scheduled for next Wednesday (5th October) will take participants through a series of practical discussions, enabling them to leave with an action plan to take back into the business. For more background information and to book a place, see http://www.hie.co.uk/about-hie/events/archive/05-10-2016-preparing-to-export–introductory-thurso.html Also of interest are a series of workshops being held by the DigitalHIE team over the next few weeks, including events in Wick, Thurso, John O’Groats, Dornoch. The events will cover a range of business topics including use of social media, website development and digital content. More information on dates, venues and booking see http://www.hie.co.uk/regional-information/digital-highlands-and-islands/news-and-events/default.html#events

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 excellent Energy North supplement issued by Scottish Provincial Press is out today (Friday). In addition to coverage of the recent MeyGen tidal energy activity, the supplement covers another wide range of pieces, including the BOWL O&M plans for Wick harbour, the economic impact of the Caithness-Moray electricity grid upgrades, and the concluding part of the history of energy development in the Highlands, written by HIE’s Calum Davidson as a fascinating tour around the North Coast 500 route.
• CNSRP partner Highland Council has worked closely with Orkney Islands Council and Marine Scotland to develop the pioneering Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan, and these efforts have now been put forward for recognition in the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. Orkney Islands Council has produced a short video in support of the work (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p91cQFkvNwk&feature=youtu.be) and you can vote for the work at https://saqp2016.com/peoples-choice/