Aurora Energy Services, the north firm that was set up by serial entrepreneurs Doug Duguid and Michael Buchan to help drive the energy transition, has joined the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF) consortium.
Mr Duguid said the move would bring many benefits to the fledgling business, which was launched last year and has since acquired three Scottish companies and another in the US.
North green freeport consortium continues to grow its membership
The business joins a growing list of ICFGF members. These include the Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Port of Inverness and Ardersier Port owner Haventus, alongside Highland Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands, and more than 30 regional, national and international businesses, public sector organisations and academic bodies.
Mr Duguid said: “As one of the newest Highland-based energy services specialists, it is opportune for Aurora to be part of the exciting development of this strategic green freeport.
“Inclusion in the freeport zone brings many benefits to our fledgling organisation and we are looking forward to playing a full part in ICFGF and contributing to its success.”
We're delighted to have concluded our Outline Business Case, which forecasts the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the Highland and a further 6,000 across the UK, bringing with it £3billion investment to the region.
This crucial step in securing Green Freeport status … pic.twitter.com/C6HAItEZ30
— Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (@icf_freeport) October 3, 2023
ICFGF chief executive Calum MacPherson said: “Aurora is an ambitious company, committed to the Highlands and to supporting the energy sector transition to net-zero.
“It is a pleasure to welcome them to membership of ICFGF.
“They have already brought employment to the area, demonstrating the new opportunities that are emerging as a result of the pipeline of offshore wind developments on our doorstep. I look forward to working with Doug and his colleagues as we continue to develop our detailed plans for the green freeport.”
With headquarters on Longman Drive, Inverness, Aurora specialises in the onshore and offshore wind, hydropower, telecoms and infrastructure and waste-to-energy services sectors.
The fledgling company also provides oil and gas project support and engineering services.
Since its formal launch in June 2022, Aurora has acquired Inverness Access Training Services, Wick-based Northern Marine Services and Huntly firm R&M Engineering.
Aurora’s £100m turnover target
Aurora now employs 275 people in Scotland, the US and Australia and is forecasting first year revenue of £35million as part of a strategy creating a £100m turnover business within five years.
ICFGF was established as a company earlier this year, following the announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in January that Inverness and the Cromarty Firth would be the location of one of two green freeports in Scotland.
6,000 new UK jobs predicted
The company’s outline business case for developing the green freeport was submitted to the Scottish and UK governments last month. It forecast that wide-ranging incentives and “multi-generational” benefits offered by the initiative will lead to the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the Highlands and a further 6,000 across the UK.
Mr Duguid and Mr Buchan, Aurora’s chief financial officer, were co-founders of Aberdeen-based oil and gas services company EnerMech. They exited that business though its £400m-plus sale to Carlyle Group in December 2018. Previously, the pair led a management buy-out of PSL Energy Services – acquired by Halliburton in 2007.