Energy services company chief executive hails benefits of north Green Freeport membership

Ambitious Highland-based company Aurora Energy Services has become the latest member of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF) consortium.

Aurora’s chief executive officer, Doug Duguid, said the move would bring many benefits to the fledgling business, which was launched last year and has since acquired three Scottish companies and another in the United States.

The firm joins a growing list of ICFGF members, which includes the Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Port of Inverness and Ardersier Port owners, Haventus, alongside The Highland Council, UHI and more than 30 regional, national and international businesses, public sector organisations and academic bodies.

With headquarters on Longman Drive, Inverness, Aurora specialises in the onshore and offshore wind, hydropower, telecoms and infrastructure and waste-to-energy services sectors. The company also provides oil and gas project support and engineering services.

Since its launch in June 2022, Aurora has acquired Inverness Access Training Services, Wick-based Northern Marine Services and Huntly firm R&M Engineering. Last month, Houston-headquartered wind turbine blade repair and maintenance specialist, Cotech Group, became its first international acquisition.

Aurora now employs 275 staff in Scotland, the US and Australia and is forecasting first year revenues of £35million as part of a strategy creating a £100m turnover enterprise in the next five years.

Mr Duguid said: “As one of the newest Highland-based energy services specialists it is opportune for Aurora to be part of the exciting development of this strategic Green Freeport.

“Inclusion in the Freeport zone brings many benefits to our fledgling organisation and we are looking forward to playing a full part in ICFGF and contributing to its success.”

ICFGF chief executive, Calum MacPherson, added: “Aurora is an ambitious company, committed to the Highlands and to supporting the energy sector transition to net-zero. It is a pleasure to welcome them to membership of ICFGF.

“They have already brought employment to the area, demonstrating the new opportunities that are emerging as a result of the pipeline of offshore wind developments on our doorstep. I look forward to working with Doug and his colleagues as we continue to develop our detailed plans for the Green Freeport.” 

ICFGF was established as a company earlier this year, following the announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in January that Inverness and the Cromarty Firth would be the location of one of two Green Freeports in Scotland.

The company’s Outline Business Case for the development of the Green Freeport was submitted to the Scottish and UK governments last month. It forecast that wide ranging incentives and multi-generational benefits offered by the initiative will lead to the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the Highlands and a further 6,000 across the UK.