Ardersier Port owner secures £100m credit from banks

Haventus, the energy transition facilities firm and owner of Ardersier Port east of Inverness, said it has secured a £100 million joint credit facility from the Scottish National Investment Bank and UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), with £50 million investment from each.

The financing follows the £300 million capital commitment by energy investment firm Quantum Capital Group announced in 2023, when Haventus began the redevelopment of Ardersier Port.

The facility will underpin the creation of a significant infrastructure facility to support industrial-scale deployment of fixed and floating offshore wind.

Haventus has taken a final investment decision and construction has now begun on the site, which includes the development of a new 650-metre quay wall and associated quayside.

Based in the Moray Firth, Ardersier Port is ideally located to support offshore wind developers and manufacturers of offshore wind components and equipment, as the 35 GW of ScotWind and INTOG project pipeline is built out.

As a tax site within the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, Ardersier Port will offer a 450-acre site with quayside access and suitable infrastructure for marshalling, integration, manufacturing, and assembly of offshore wind components.

It will be the largest dedicated offshore wind deployment port facility in Scotland, capable of hosting and supporting gigawatt scale projects.

Once operational, the facility will significantly increase the offshore wind port capacity, to support the transition to net zero.

As one of the largest industrial regeneration projects in the Highlands in decades, the development will re-establish the port as a major local employer, supporting and creating hundreds of jobs.

Haventus CEO Lewis Gillies said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of the two banks as important partners in this nationally significant project.

“With their support, and that of Quantum, Ardersier Port is poised to become a critical offshore wind hub and an important job creator and enabler. It will play a crucial role in helping the country meet its net zero ambitions.

“With work now underway on site, we aim to have the facility open and operational in the second half of next year.

“This progress has been achieved in a very short period, due in large measure to the constructive engagement we have had with the Highland Council, our consenting agencies and regulators and government departments.”

Michael MacDougall, Partner, Quantum Capital Group, said: “Quantum is delighted that the banks have chosen to work alongside us.

“From the outset, we were impressed by their leadership, thought partnership, and diligent effort to help us deliver a facility that will create significant benefit in terms of regeneration, support for net zero transition, and creation of new employment.

“This project shows how private capital can work successfully with banks to provide critical infrastructure and in particular suitable facilities to support decarbonisation of Scotland and the UK.”

Scottish National Investment Bank CEO Al Denholm said: “We expect the site at Ardersier to be of significant strategic importance in supporting the growing offshore wind industry over the coming years.

“We are pleased to fund this development and to be doing so with the UK Infrastructure Bank. The project perfectly aligns to our net zero mission and illustrates the benefits of our two organisations working together.”

UK Infrastructure Bank CEO John Flint said: “Vast investment is needed in port infrastructure by 2030 in order to fully realise the potential of offshore wind.

“This is a great opportunity to support this crucial sector, alongside the Scottish National Investment Bank, in what will be a nationally significant project for the UK energy transition, while also helping to grow the local Scottish economy.”

First Minister of Scotland John Swinney said: “Scotland’s growing offshore wind capabilities presents an era-defining opportunity – not only to achieve a just transition to net zero, but to harness the skills which lie across our energy sector and wider supply chain to create thousands of green jobs and transform our regional and national economies.

“The Ardersier Port redevelopment, which is central to the ambitions of the ground-breaking Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, exemplifies this opportunity.

“This show of support from both banks demonstrates the huge confidence in this new facility and its role in helping deliver a fairer, greener future for everyone.”

Brodies was lead legal adviser to Ardersier Port, parent company Haventus, and equity provider Quantum Capital Group and Pinsent Masons was lead legal adviser to the Scottish National Investment Bank and the UK Infrastructure Bank on the £100 million senior debt financing. Dickson Minto is corporate legal adviser to Quantum and Haventus.