Port of Cromarty Firth has announced a new quayside expansion, costing £30 million. This follows a recent announcement from the Port that it secured a £10 million contract from Moray East Offshore Windfarm Ltd to become the intermediate port for the 95-turbine development. The new quayside will generate over 140 new jobs across the Highlands and Islands. The new quayside will be funded jointly by the Port and HIE, including support from the European Regional Development Fund, and with help from the commercial lender RBS. HIE has approved £7.75m grant funding to the project over the coming years. £2.3m of this total is being contributed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and an application for a further £800,000 ERDF funding is under consideration. The HIE package also includes £2m of additional funding from the Scottish Government. The new 218m quayside and 9 acres of laydown area has been designed as a new energy and cruise hub and will be completed by 2020. It will be designed to accommodate large scale renewable, decommissioning and oil and gas projects, it will also be able to berth large cruise ships currently being designed and built. This will be the second quayside and laydown area built by the Port in three years. In 2015/16, the Port invested £25m in a new 150m quayside and 9 acre laydown area. Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth said: “This is tremendous news for the Port and the Highlands and it represents a significant investment by the Board. As a Trust Port, all of our profits are reinvested in the Port’s future development. We believe this investment will help bring new work to the area for decades to come. This is already starting, with last week’s announcement of the Moray East Offshore Windfarm contract." Bob added: “There is a substantial demand for the services in the Port and, even with the large new quayside and laydown area finished in 2016, we still experience capacity issues. This new Energy and Cruise Hub will help us resolve these problems and open up the Port to being able to accommodate large scale projects from across all sectors.” Moray East is a 950MW offshore wind project 22km from the coast of Scotland and was the first part of the Moray Firth Zone to be developed. It is also the first of the Round 3 projects to apply for (2012) and receive (2014) consent. In 2017 it won a contract for difference at competitive auction which set the price of power generated at £57.50/MWh. It is anticipated to generate enough energy to supply nearly 950,000 households from its scheduled commissioning in 2022. For more information on wind farm construction click here.