Orkney Harbours have unveiled an ambitious £230 million vision to place the island at the forefront of a cleaner and greener future for Scotland.
The masterplan focuses on harbour infrastructure over a 20-year period to generate jobs and additional revenue and attract new business.
It represents the first step in a review of Orkney Harbour Authority-owned assets to embrace decarbonisation and transition away from fossil fuels.
Phase one focuses on the Scapa Deep Water Quay, Hatston, Kirkwall and Scapa piers and Stromness, while phase two will develop the Islands’ smaller harbours and piers.
An outline business case commissioned by Orkney Marine Services found the proposals should create 115 new jobs.
Harbour users and key stakeholders were consulted to help the group understand the issues and opportunities.
Scapa Deep Water Quay is viewed as the optimal location for construction and operations and maintenance activities associated with offshore wind, as well as for a liquefied natural gas storage and a distribution centre.
The infrastructure has the capability to accommodate semi-submersible platforms of all types, giving Orkney a unique UK competitive edge within the oil and gas market.
The project team believes it could be delivered by 2025, while other proposals like Kirkwall could take three or four years.
Orkney Islands Council leader James Stockan said: “Our vision is to build a truly sustainable business that is a core economic asset for Orkney.
“But it is also to be a first phase in enabling a scale of investment and logistical capability for the UK that will be of international significance.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson clearly welcomed our ambition and Orkney’s potential during his recent visit to our islands. ”
Chairman of the council’s development and infrastructure committee and harbour sub-committee, Graham Sinclair, added that the masterplan seeks to “build” on decades of marine expertise.