The Port of Ardersier has submitted plans to Highland Council, Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland for the consents needed to make the site a European manufacturing port for the offshore wind industry.
With 138 hectares (340 acres) of vacant land and a deep water quay, the purpose-built yard on the Moray Firth is considered well-placed to take a share of the £70bn UK offshore wind construction market.
If approved, the harbour revision order, onshore planning and marine consents would permit major dredging later this year, which could enable the port to be open for business in early 2014.
The £4.5bn Moray offshore wind farm is currently being developed jointly by EDP Renewables and Repsol Nuevas Energias UK.
Port of Ardersier CEO Captain Stephen Gobbi said: “There are few other locations in the UK, or indeed Europe, which can offer this quality and quantity of vacant land, a 1000-metre deep water quay and proximity to the major offshore wind development zones in the North Sea.
“Ardersier complements other sites in Scotland and offers offshore wind developers and manufacturers the opportunity to site their operations close to the first-generation deep water sites in the firths of Moray, Tay and Forth.”
Formerly the McDermott Fabrication Yard, the port (pictured below) was built on land reclaimed from the foreshore in the 1970s for the fabrication and construction of North Sea oil and gas platforms. At its height, the yard employed 4500 people.