Company to turn area into an energy hub
Global Energy Group plans to turn the Nigg fabrication yard into a major energy centre.
The Inverness company was named preferred bidder for the 238 hectare Ross-shire site earlier this year by owners KBR and the Wakelyn Trust but the final deal has only just completed after months of due diligence.
Now GEG plans to create "a modern energy park" on the Cromarty Firth which could have 2,000 people working there by 2015.
It is understood GEG plans to spend around £10m on upgrading the site.
Its Isleburn subsidiary currently employs 150 people but could treble in size over the next few years.
Roy MacGregor, GEG chairman, said: "We have been extremely busy exploring commercial opportunities for Nigg.
"The levels of interest expressed to us about the yard, its strategic location and its potential for further development have absolutely underlined our own firm conviction that this facility is really special.
"From the outset our vision has always been to develop the site as a multiple-user, multi-sector facility serving the needs of the energy industry.
"Having completed this vital first stage of purchasing the site, we are confident we will soon be in a position to make further announcements both on our detailed strategy for Nigg and on significant commercial opportunities there."
Highlands and Islands Enterprise are backing the plan with £1.8 million in funding.
Alex Paterson, HIE chief executive, said: "Nigg has long been a jewel in the crown of Scotland's offshore fabrication facilities, as identified through the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP).
"Its huge potential is now unlocked by the purchase of the site by one of Scotland's fastest growing businesses.
"HIE's investment towards the subsequent development of the site accelerates Nigg's potential to meet the real and immediate needs of oil and gas, offshore wind and wave and tidal developers."
A spokesman for the Wakelyn Trust said: "Global Energy is firmly rooted in the Highlands and has a strong track record in the renewables and offshore construction sector.
"The Trustees were persuaded that its plans were likely to make the most of this unique Scottish asset for the benefit of the Highlands.
"It has taken a lot of time and effort to secure this outcome but securing the right outcome often takes time and the Trustees now look forward to the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the fabrication yard."
Nigg was developed in the 1970s to build platforms and rigs for the North Sea oil and gas industry but has been mainly dormant for the past 10 years.
It has existing fabrication and warehouse buildings, extensive yard space, a dry dock and a deep water quayside on the site.