Inch Cape Offshore, the holding company for a 1GW offshore wind farm in Scotland, has picked Montrose Port as its future operations and maintenance (O&M) base.

The offshore wind farm to be built in the North Sea, 15km off the coast of Angus, will be equipped with 72 turbines.

Jointly owned by Red Rock Power and ESB, Inch Cape Offshore will initially invest £5.2m in the O&M base at Montrose Port. The new facility is expected to create over 50 jobs during its lifetime.

Montrose Port CEO and harbourmaster Tom Hutchison said: “As a Trust Port we are driven to develop our offering to benefit our community of stakeholders both now and for future generations to come.

“We have already started to see the benefits offshore wind can bring to our regional economy and we are proud to be championing Montrose and the wider Angus region as a bastion for green energy.”

According to Inch Cape Offshore, initial work on the upgrade of the infrastructure at the port will start next year. Construction of offices and warehouse will be first taken up, and will be carried out at Montrose Port’s South Quay.

The offshore wind farm developer also plans to construct an exclusive pontoon for crew transfer vessels travelling to and from the project site. Besides, dock side cranes and a communications mast will be installed.

Inch Cape Offshore said that additional investment could be made to incorporate the latest technologies in vessel fuelling.

The company anticipates wrapping up the port-related works and beginning operations at the O&M base by early 2025 during the same time as the commissioning of the first turbines of the Inch Cape offshore wind farm.

Inch Cape offshore wind farm project director Adam Ezzamel said: “This new infrastructure will make Montrose Port a key element in the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, which will become one of Scotland’s largest single sources of renewable power, operational for at least 30 years.

“We plan to utilise the very latest technology to reduce carbon emissions from vessels to operational base designs, operating and maintaining some of the biggest wind turbines in the world deployed in water depths of up to 57 metres.”

The Inch Cape offshore wind farm had applied to the British government to seek a long-term energy contract in its Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round. Results of the CfD round are expected to be released this summer.

In January 2019, Dutch maritime infrastructure services company Royal Boskalis Westminster was chosen as a preferred contractor for the offshore wind project.