Aberdeen Harbour Positioned as Major North Sea Energy Gateway

Aberdeen Harbour continues to cement its position as the center of activity for the energy industry's marine operations in Northwest Europe, and remains one the UK's busiest ports.

Figures show more than 50% of the port's major activity is connected to the oil & gas industry. This, combined with other commercial traffic generates more than £420million for the region's economy annually and supports in excess of 11,000 jobs.

This latest data highlights the importance of Aberdeen Harbour to the energy industry and demonstrates continuing growth in oil & gas-specific traffic using the port in recent years. In 1999, 4,212 offshore support vessels used Aberdeen Harbour, which by 2008 had increased by more than 20% to 5,424. Most notably, however, is the increase in vessel tonnage, from 9.14million tonnes to 15.5million tonnes, in the same period.

A diverse range of specialist and supply vessels operate through the port, and this year saw the first hydraulically operated gangway, designed to transfer personnel from a vessel to a platform, trialled in the Central North Sea.

Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour said, "We have experienced an increase in the number and size of vessels using the port. Since 1999 we have witnessed dramatic increases due to favorable economic conditions, but even in quieter times, activity has remained high.

"Aberdeen Harbour provides a valuable support system to the oil & gas industry in the North Sea and also offers services for operators working in other oil regions throughout the world."

To maintain and further enhance the provision and quality of services at the port, we are implementing a £65 million, five-year development strategy to ensure facilities continue to meet existing and future customer needs and have the ability to accommodate the larger support vessels now operating in the sector. Through this continual investment, the port can offer its customers an efficient and cost effective service that allows for the faster turn around of vessels and so increasing productivity.

"Ensuring the port's continued competitive position requires a strong and supportive Board," added Parker. "Collectively they provide robust governance of the Harbour, ensuring that, as a Trust port, all profits (£6.795 million in 2008) are reinvested in developing and maintaining the port's facilities to the highest standards. That way we can continue to meet the needs of an evolving energy sector supporting activity in the North Sea and beyond."