SNP Duo Hail Scapa Green Jobs Potential

01 April 2011

SNP MEP, Alyn Smith, and Holyrood candidate for Orkney, Donna Heddle, have welcomed recent research which would see Scapa Flow in Orkney becoming the ultimate Green port boasting a huge trade value of £16 billion per annum.

In order to turn this research into reality, further funding will be required which could be achieved with the help of an EU grant.

Orkney candidate Donna Heddle said:

"This is potentially fantastic news for Orkney which is an ideal location for the FCSTT. In terms of geography, Scapa Flow is positioned at the crossroads between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean allowing it to serve the North Sea Region as well as neighbouring markets throughout Northern Europe.

"The current hub ports have feeder inefficiencies which Scapa Flow would resolve. The Scottish Government has recognised the potential of the deep and sheltered waters of Scapa Flow and has included the development of a container transhipment terminal here in the National Planning Framework. However, the new idea of a floating terminal should most definitely be considered.

"The transhipment market in Northern Europe is very large and fast growing. Having the floating terminal in Orkney would be a great opportunity for Scotland.”

Alyn Smith commented:

"The possible benefits of such an innovative terminal to a relatively small European country like Scotland are massive. Having the FCSTT at Scapa Flow would put us at the forefront of low cost transhipment port capacity development.

"The huge savings potential in terms of shipping costs and CO2 emissions would certainly be achievable. The eventual benefit of having direct access to low cost marine renewable energy sources could make Scapa Flow the 'ultimate green port', creating valuable green jobs for Scotland.

"It is likely that this project will have to apply for European financial assistance in order to produce a full-scale demonstration of the floating port and I am only too happy to help in this process.

"Scotland has the ability to show the world that wee countries can actually do big things."

The research was conducted by The Interreg North Sea region StratMoS Project partners in collaboration with Gottwald Port Technology. Led by the Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University, the new and very innovative concept of the floating container storage and transhipment terminal (FCSTT) was introduced.

Their research advocates Scapa Flow in Orkney as an ideal hub location for a floating container storage and transhipment terminal (FCSTT). This would be an extremely cost effective option when compared with a land-based container terminal of similar capacity. This is due to the much lower operating costs and a capital cost saving of two-thirds.

The floating container would be easily transferable to wherever there is demand and could be put in place much quicker than conventional seaport infrastructure developments which face many planning constraints. The location of Scapa Flow would also allow for minimal deviation for existing liner and intra-Europe services.