National Investment Bank invests in Aurora Energy

Doug Duguid of Aurora Energy and Jimmy Williamson of the Scottish National Investment Bank

Inverness-based Aurora Energy Services said it has secured funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank to bolster growth and expand its network of regional training hubs and workshop facilities vital to support the green energy supply chain.

Launched in June 2022, Aurora said it is “committed to supporting the energy sector transition to net zero and specialises in the onshore and offshore wind, hydropower, telecoms & infrastructure and waste-to-energy sectors, while also providing oil and gas project support and engineering services.”

Up to £20 million of funding from the bank will be used to create more Scottish jobs and to support further international expansion.

In its first year, Aurora acquired three north of Scotland businesses — Inverness Access Training Services, Huntly’s R&M Engineering and Wick-based Northern Marine Services — and in October made its first international acquisition when Houston-based wind turbine blade repair and maintenance specialist Cotech Group joined Aurora.

The company now employs 275 staff in Scotland and, the United States and is forecasting first year revenues of £30 million as part of a strategy of creating a £100 million turnover enterprise in the next five years.

Aurora Energy Services CEO Doug Duguid said: “In securing this welcome financial support from the Scottish National Investment Bank it means we can accelerate our transition into renewables on several fronts.

“It will enhance our recruitment of people living and working in rural Scotland and allow us to be able to offer more job and training opportunities in a shorter timeframe.”

Aurora have recently opened a Renewable Energy Training Centre in Inverness — the only facility of its kind in the Scottish Highlands — and have other bases in Aberdeen, Wick and Huntly dedicated to the servicing, engineering and fabrication needs of the renewables sector.

Duguid added: “The wind sector is an important part of Aurora’s future expansion plans, but other renewable technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and pumped hydro are also key. The Bank’s support means we can speed up our strategic expansion in those areas.

“We are a Scottish business, firmly rooted in the Highlands but with an international footprint, and The Bank’s backing will be an important factor as we close in on other international acquisitions which are in the pipeline.”

The  investment has been part-financed by capital from the Just Transition Fund, allocated to the Bank from Scottish Government in April 2023.

Since its establishment in 2020, the Scottish National Investment Bank has provided over £100 million into businesses supporting the energy transition.

Scottish National Investment Bank executive director Jimmy Williamson said: “Aurora has an exceptional team from a proven background of expertise honed in the oil and gas and industrials markets, now turning those skills to support the renewables sector.

“For Scotland to be able to harness the opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure, the right skills and a ready workforce are a critical dependency.

“Aurora’s remit to develop new talent and retrain workers who already have deep, critical energy sector knowledge is a vital link in realising the potential before us.

“Aurora aligns with The Bank’s net zero and placemaking missions and has a key energy transition theme at its core.

“It is a great platform focused on helping create a long-term, valuable industrial cluster for the people of Scotland that will really allow us to become world leaders in the renewables sector.”