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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18804: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 September 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its spokesperson’s comment that the decision to designate Dales Voe as an ultra-deep water port for decommissioning “may even benefit Dundee if the Scottish market works collaboratively”, what its position is on the private sector complying with its wishes.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 3 October 2018

Answer updated on 09/10/18

The level of economic benefit generated from an ultra-deep water (UDW) port depends on its ability to attract projects. Initial evidence suggests that a successful UDW port could receive and then quickly distribute infrastructure to other decommissioning locations across Scotland. In this way it could act as a transfer hub supporting a greater number of decommissioning projects and enabling opportunities elsewhere which would otherwise not have been realised. This would be particularly important during periods of significant demand.

Within this context, and informed by discussions with stakeholders regarding its capabilities, we assess that Dundee could be well placed to benefit from the business opportunities which come from being able to work in partnership with a successful deep water port in Shetland – and, in doing so, help capture additional value that might otherwise be lost to the Scottish and wider UK supply chains, in the absence of a UK based UDW port that is accessible to heavy lift vehicles.

The study undertaken by Ernst & Young examines how the transfer hub could operate, the potential commercial arrangements and the peak times of market demand. The technical specifics within each of these steps, along with identified risks, will be explored in more detail as part of further technical review and business case development. This stage of work is expected to follow a complementary UK Government study looking at the case for public investment in such a facility.

We want to support the growth of a successful, collaborative and sustainable decommissioning industry in Scotland. There is no obligation on the private sector to work collaboratively within Scotland. However, collaboration will be key to cost effectiveness which is the main driver for decommissioning contracts to be awarded to the Scottish supply chain. It would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to attempt to influence decisions on contracting methods between companies.