MOVES to ensure new offshore wind farm projects provides greater benefits for Scottish jobs and the economy has been agreed as it emerged plans for an £88m global energy hub will arrive in Aberdeen.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse held the summit at St Andrew's House, where industry representatives agreed collective action is needed to ensure Scottish companies benefit from upcoming projects.

Developers and supply chain companies were asked to consider taking urgent action to achieve the 60% content targets the UK Government's offshore wind sector deal wants to hit by 2030.

Today the Prime Minister will address the Scottish Conservative Party Conference in Aberdeen where she will say the new Global Underwater Hub supporting oil, gas and renewable energy initiatives, will create jobs and boost the local economy.

One of three centres of excellence proposed focuses on developing technology to support an energy transition to a lower carbon economy and would involve the industry and government investing £50m each.

The underwater innovation hub would lead on research and development.

One centre in Newburgh, which opened in February, is prioritising the cost-effective decommissioning of over 100 platforms forecast for removal over the next decade.


It is believed the three centres would deliver up to £110 billion in North Sea revenues between now and 2035.

Mrs May is expected to say that the hub would bring areas of excellence in technology under "a single commercial vision - creating jobs, boosting the local economy and cementing Aberdeen's place as an energy hub for offshore and renewables".

READ MORE: New climate change plan needed before financial boost for Scotland's declining oil & gas industry is final, say MPs

She will say: “Over decades, the oil and gas sector has made an outstanding contribution towards the whole UK economy. It has developed a world-class centre of expertise in the incredibly challenging conditions of the North Sea.

“Our subsea engineering sector already supports tens of thousands of jobs – 60% of which are based here in Scotland. By building on that expertise, we can create the world’s pre-eminent subsea industrial cluster.

“It would help established businesses thrive and create new opportunities as the world makes the shift towards clean growth. Supporting industry, helping us in the fight against climate change and creating new skilled jobs and opportunities for people to get on.”

After the summit, Mr Mackay said that while Scotland had all the natural resources to make it an ideal location for offshore wind, recent projects had failed to deliver significant economic opportunities for Scottish businesses.

The Scottish Government pledged to look at options for attaching supply chain conditions and incentives to Crown Estate seabed leases.

"I will continue to champion the strengths, and potential, of our indigenous supply chain," said Mr Mackay "But now it is time for the offshore sector to do more by awarding contracts to our supply chain.

"I acknowledge that the supply chain must work hard to seek opportunities - making strategic investments and considering appropriate collaborations when tendering for contracts."

He added: "I am determined that we will use every lever at our disposal to ensure that our renewables supply chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in Scottish waters."

In a joint statement, GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith and Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "Actions speak louder than words but we leave this summit confident that the Scottish Government shares our determination to make sure we get our share of the renewables manufacturing bonanza and that they will take all necessary measures within their powers to do this.

"We told the UK Government that immediate and sustained investment from their offshore wind deal holds the key to infrastructure improvements that can help make the Scottish supply chain a global player - the ball is now very much in their court if they credibly want to realise their aims for this sector.

"For the industry majors that have carved up the jobs and value from our billion pound offshore wind market, there will be a realisation that the days of giving Scotland scraps from our own table are at an end because the status quo is not acceptable and our campaign for work and prosperity is not going away."

Offshore Wind Industry Council chairman Benj Sykes said the sector would continue to work closely with all governments to ensure the country reaps the benefits of offshore winds in jobs and investment.

He added: "The industry is working together to establish a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership of up to £100 million which will help UK supply chain companies to compete for multi-billion pound business opportunities in this thriving sector."