Harbour chiefs have struck a deal which could land a north-east port 300 new jobs.
Fraserburgh has been named as a potential site for the servicing and maintenance of one of the world’s biggest offshore windfarms.
The announcement was hailed last night as “very good news” for the town.
Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL), which has been granted permission to build 186 turbines, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fraserburgh Harbour Board.
Talks will now begin with manufacturers and engineers behind the scheme to ensure that the port can deliver their needs.
A spokeswoman for the harbour said: “I would say it is a very good day for Fraserburgh.
“We have been working on this for a good few years and it is a very exciting development.”
Fraserburgh is now up against Wick harbour and a third, unnamed contender in the race to be selected as the support site for the windfarm.
While maintenance of the development will generate a stream of specialist engineering roles, it is also predicted that shops, hotels and other services in the town would benefit significantly benefit from its links to the renewable energy project.
Eilidh Whiteford, SNP MP for Banff and Buchan, witnessed the signing of the memorandum yesterday.
She said: “The harbour is a first class facility that is extremely well placed to service renewable developments off the coast of the north of Scotland.
“The town more widely is positioning itself well to benefit from the renewables revolution.”
MORL was granted permission by the Scottish Government to build the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl offshore windfarms in the outer Moray Firth.
The firm claims the three fields will be able to produce 1,116MW of electricity.
The turbines will be placed at least 13.5 miles from the coast.
Laying the cable which will bring the power ashore is expected to create a further 600 jobs.
Dan Finch, project director for Moray Offshore Renewables, said: “The Moray Firth is able to offer a range of locations which could provide facilities for operations and maintenance activities, and this memorandum of understanding will enable positive engagement between MORL and Fraserburgh harbour to allow the fullest consideration to be given to the facilities and skills available, and enable sound future planning.”
The third harbour under consideration by MORL for its service base will be announced next month.