Scottish and UK governments urged to support North East Green Freeport bid


Up to 30,000 jobs will be created in the North East under innovative plans to transform the region into the net zero capital of Europe with a bid for green freeport status for Aberdeen and Peterhead.

A bid has been submitted for Peterhead to gain Freeport status

A major regional alliance today (Friday 10 June) announced its formal application for Green Freeport status, which will increase GVA by £7.5bn over the next decade and usher in a new era of investing, innovation, regional regeneration and opportunities for those in need. them the most.

The region aims to become the global epicenter of the energy transition to lead the world in creating carbon-free energy and the technology needed to reach Net Zero.

The announcement follows a recent visit to Aberdeen by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during which she underlined the Scottish Government’s commitment to repositioning the region as the “net zero capital of Europe” and the commitment of Chancellor Rishi Sunak to spur Scotland’s transformation into a ‘green energy hub’. and meet UK government commitments on Net Zero.

North East Scotland Green Freeport will make these commitments a reality.

It will bring state-of-the-art, large-scale manufacturing to Aberdeen to maximize the economic benefits of Scotland’s rapidly growing offshore wind and hydrogen sectors and accelerate pioneering carbon capture projects on the Buchan Coast.

The partners believe that merging Green Freeport status with the North East’s leading energy expertise will drive the UK’s decarbonisation campaign and a just transition to a net zero economy.

It will also create a regional customs hub for Scottish exports of high-end, globally recognized food and drink products, establishing direct links to key markets for products such as Scotch whisky, seafood and meat.

North East Scotland Green Freeport will include a special economic zone within which a number of fiscal levers and incentives will be available to attract new inward investment and support the expansion of existing businesses to invest, innovate and grow. develop the skills needed to offer a wide range of pioneering activities. new projects.

The ambitious proposals will secure vital trade and support the acceleration of innovation, diversification and decarbonization of key sectors in the region:

• Stimulate local and wider regeneration, amplify the value of Green Freeport investment to level up disadvantaged communities and enable and accelerate a just transition.

• To deliver a globally recognized integrated energy group focused on delivering Net Zero contributing significantly to national energy and economic security.

• Leverage private sector investment to attract new subsea engineering and manufacturing companies that will maximize the significant opportunities for the regional and Scottish supply chain provided by the ScotWind and INTOG licenses.

• Accelerating the delivery of Acorn, Scotland’s only carbon capture cluster, and establishing Europe’s largest direct air capture facility on the Buchan coast.

• Accelerate the impacts of a new green hydrogen production and distribution center to produce renewable gas for regional and national markets, and ultimately export it.

• Capitalize on the brand new £400m expansion of Aberdeen South Harbor which provides 24 hour non-tidal access and deep water facilities on the east coast.

• Harness the region’s existing expertise in freight logistics across global supply chains and become a UK test bed for the development of innovative solutions for future business systems, including the use of drone technology in ports and customs infrastructure.

• Drive investment in innovation and automation to transform our crucial seafood sector, supporting increased exports of world-class food and beverages to the world.

Bob Sanguinetti, Managing Director of the Port of Aberdeen, said: “In this climate emergency, the UK needs a region with a proven track record of delivering innovative energy solutions and economic opportunity at pace. Merging Green Freeport status with a region recognized internationally for its resilience, adaptability and pioneering entrepreneurial spirit would open a prosperous new chapter in our industrial history. One that literally could help change the world.

“So back to North East Scotland Green Freeport.

“Let’s accelerate Scotland and the UK’s journey to Net Zero. Let’s anchor the world’s leading energy companies and talent here for another 50 years.”

Simon Brebner, Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority, said: “A successful bid will have a transformative effect on the Peterhead area, accelerating the push to Net Zero through carbon capture and storage and creating thousands of jobs. jobs while aligning with vital decarbonization work. across the region.

“For Scotland and the UK to meet their climate targets, the energy sector in the North East of Scotland needs to be at the forefront of the transition. The levers and incentives offered by the Green Freeport will provide certainty for investors which, in turn, will enable us to shift to innovative renewable energy solutions.”

Councilor Mark Findlater, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “These are exciting times and a great opportunity for Peterhead and the North East of Scotland.

“I fully support the North East Scotland Green Freeport project.

“In Aberdeenshire, Green Freeport status would accelerate the development of Scotland’s only carbon capture cluster, Acorn in St Fergus, and contribute to the decarbonisation of Scotland and Europe.

“A successful bid has the potential to create thousands of high quality jobs for our communities in this corner of North East Scotland.”

Cllr Ian Yuill, Co-Director of Aberdeen City Council, said: “For 50 years, Aberdeen and the North East have been at the center of the UK’s world-class energy sector.

“The North East Scotland Green Freeport would allow us to build on this and the City Council will continue to work with our partners and others to deliver the strongest possible bid for a Green Freeport.

“If this bid is successful, it will play a key role in securing business and jobs in the North East for years to come.

“This would build on the investments already made by Aberdeen City Council, the Port of Aberdeen, the Scottish Government and UK Governments through the City Region Deal and the Energy Transition Fund.

“The legacy here of decades of enterprise, technology, research and innovation in offshore engineering and talent throughout the supply chain, gives Aberdeen and the North East the foundation to make the vision of Aberdeen becoming the net zero capital of Europe.”

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