The groups behind the North East’s ambitious plan for a ‘green freeport’ with special tax status are calling for a last-minute meeting with SNP leaders.
Two offers will be selected this summer out of five across Scotland.
The ports of Aberdeen and Peterhead have joined forces in a North-East Green Freeport bid which they say will create a wealth of jobs for the region.
SNP MP Jackie Dunbar, who represents Aberdeen Donside, and Conservative MP for the North East, Liam Kerr, made a cross-party appeal to government ministers John Swinney and Ivan McKee.
Their letter says the ‘game-changing plans’ could create 32,000 jobs and an economic boost worth £8.5billion over the next decade.
What is a Green Freeport?
A “green freeport” is a large zoned area within a defined boundary that includes rail, sea or airport.
Operators and businesses in the zone can benefit from a package of tax and other incentives, which proponents claim are fueling economic growth.
However, critics include North East Green MSP Maggie Chapman who called it a ‘greenwashed Brexit plan’.
A total of five bids were received from across Scotland:
- Aberdeen City and Peterhead Green Freeport
- Opportunity Inverness and Cromarty Firth.
- Orkney Green Freeport.
- Firth of Forth Green Freeport.
- Clyde Green Freeport.
One of the main proposals in the North East bid is to establish a so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) plant in St Fergus, Aberdeenshire.
Those behind the plans say it would play an “important role in making air travel greener”.
The joint letter states: “Made from post-recycling household and municipal waste, agricultural and forestry residues and residual fats, it has been estimated that SAF can generate carbon savings of over 70% compared to jet fuel. fossil.
“The airport would be directly involved in these plans which would create up to 920 jobs in Peterhead and bring £133m to the local economy.”
Decision expected “soon”
The launch of the tender process earlier this year followed lengthy negotiations between the Holyrood and Westminster administrations.
Talks have collapsed over the best model to use for the ports, with the Scottish government insisting on ‘red line demands’, including paying real living wages.
But the two governments eventually agreed on a common prospectus for bidders.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “A series of ambitious bids have come from across the country to become a green port.
“The Scottish Government expects Green Ports to support regeneration in selected areas, create high-quality, well-paying jobs and make a significant contribution to achieving Scotland’s net zero ambitions.
“The Scottish and UK Governments are jointly evaluating the bids and the Scottish and UK Ministers will jointly select the winners, following the rigorous process set out in the tender prospectus.
“The Scottish Government hopes to be able to confirm the winning bids soon, together with the UK Government.”
Already subscribed? Login
[Push to win over SNP leaders on north-east green freeport bid]