Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update
17th September 2016
Week Commencing 12th September 2016
Energy & Business Services:
Representatives from the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium were in Wick this week to formally unveil plans to transform two historic buildings at Wick harbour into the Operations & Maintenance base for the project. For photos, (see my online blog, address below) The drop-in event was very busy with interested members of the public (estimated at around 150), and the comments I heard in the room were overwhelmingly positive. A planning application for the plans was submitted to CNSRP partner Highland Council this week. In the next few days the display materials from the event will be posted to the Beatrice webpages at http://sse.com/whatwedo/ourprojectsandassets/renewables/Beatrice/
I mentioned last week that recruitment has now started for staff who will take forward the operations and maintenance of the BOWL project, with lead partner SSE advertising the posts of Contract Lead https://hijobs.net/job/42702/contract-lead-beatrice - deadline today, 16th September 2016), Asset Engineer (https://hijobs.net/job/42701/asset-engineer-beatrice - deadline 16th September 2017) and Operations Engineer (https://hijobs.net/job/42700/operations-engineer-beatrice - deadline 16th August 2017) . These are the first publicly advertised positions to become available, and over the coming 12 months the recruitment of O&M personnel will ramp up. At the time they confirmed that Wick would be the O&M base for the project SSE estimated they would create around 90 direct full-time jobs in Wick.
Continuing a positive week for north energy projects, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP was at the Nigg Energy Park this week to officially launch the MeyGen tidal energy project's first turbines. It was great to be present with June Love of DSRL and Fiona Levack of Caithness Chamber of Commerce to hear the First Minister highlight this as an important milestone not only for the north, but for Scotland, the UK and the wider tidal energy sector. Atlantis Resources Ltd's Chief Executive Tim Cornelius and Chairman John Neill were on hand at the quayside in Nigg to show the sheer scale of one turbine and its base before the devices are shipped north to the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth for installation over the coming weeks. For photos, (see my online blog, address below). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-37321639 The jack-up barge that will install the devices arrived at Nigg yesterday (Thursday).
I was delighted this week to take part in Education Scotland's review of the work of CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in the area of Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance. Two ES representatives met with a group of local bodies, and then observed one of the CNSRP Delivery Group meetings, on which SDS Team Leader Alistair Ferrier sits. I hope that we were able to convey that one of our key strengths in the north is our ability to work together across agency boundaries, as well as across public, private and third sector boundaries, to achieve progress in our goals.
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP's partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:
Wick High School's success in technology development continues to impress, with the girls from team QuancoBot winning the "university challenge" competition organised by the Computing Science and Digital Media department at Robert Gordon University. The team’s brilliantly-executed idea of a mobile robot relaying video at rugby matches had already received awards at the Apps for Good competition finals held in London. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1023318/youngsters-from-wick-named-as-winners-of-rgu-computer-competition/
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership
Tel: 01847 805211
Mob: 07717 694055
Weeks commencing 20th and 27th November 2017 Energy & business services: Delighted to hear that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, had a good level of interest at its recruitment event in Wick last week. SeaCat is seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and I understand that several applications are now being taken forward.
Week Commencing 13 November 2017 Energy & business services: A reminder that SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick next week for those interested in working on the vessels. SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November.
Energy & business services: SeaCat Services, the operators of the crew transfer vessels that will support both construction and operations work for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm (BOWL) project, will be running a recruitment event in Wick for those interested in working on the vessels (see my blog for pictures of the SeaCat Intrepid already based in Wick). SeaCat are seeking suitably qualified candidates for roles such as Master, Mate and Deckhand, and will be hosting a drop-in session at Wick Job Centre, Girnigoe Street, Wick from 9am til 12pm on Thursday 23rd November.
Week commencing 30th October 2017 Energy & business services: The operators of the Moray (East) Offshore Windfarm development (also known as "Moray 1") have announced this week that MHI Vestas has been awarded the contract to supply and install up to one hundred 9.5MW turbines for the development. The Vestas brand will be familiar to many through its use in onshore wind turbines: as previously highlighted here, the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm consortium will be using Siemens turbines.
Weeks commencing 16th and 23rd October 2017. Energy & business services: It was great to be invited this week to take part in a visit to the area by Japanese nuclear industry and government representatives.
Week commencing 25 September 2017 Tourism, Food and Drink: · Last weekend saw the staging of the annual "Taste North" event organised at Ackergill Tower by Venture North with support from a range of organisations including CNSRP partner the NDA. Despite the less than ideal weather, the event attracted a record number of visitors (around 1,000), and a range of food, drink and tourism companies from across the north, and featured a range of activities and demonstrations, including masterclasses with renowned chef Nick Nairn.
Week commencing 11 September 2017 Energy & business services: The UK Government's department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) this week announced its latest round of awards through the "Contracts for Difference" mechanism, in which there was mixed news for area projects. The Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) development consented for the Moray Firth - received an award, whilst the MeyGen tidal energy project did not.
Week Commencing 4 September 2017 Enabling Activities: As I highlighted last week CNSRP partners Highland Council and NDA have supported Scottish Government to carry out investigation work into the improvement of the A9 Trunk Road at Berriedale Braes, which aims to improve the notorious hairpin bend. The notice, which outlines construction costs of approximately £9 million, invites prospective bidders to formally apply to participate in the procurement to construct major improvements to this important route.
Week Commencing 14th August 2017 Energy & business services: Caithness Chamber of Commerce this week ran an event sponsored by CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The main speaker was Bill Cattanach of the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), with introductory presentations by myself and Sandy Mackie of Scrabster Harbour Trust.
Weeks commening 31st July and 7th August Energy & business services: As I highlighted recently, the company behind the proposed floating offshore windfarm demonstrator off the coast near Dounreay recently went into into administration. Administrators French Duncan have opened a "data room" for potential buyers.
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