Scottish Ports Capacity Study

Scottish Ports Capacity Study


Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are Scotland’s economic development agencies tasked with delivering opportunities that have a significant and lasting effect on the Scottish economy. One of the key economic sectors in Scotland in terms of both employment and GVA is oil and gas, which supports 32,000 jobs and turns over £31.8 billion per annum. Much of the activity in this sector is offshore and there is a dependence on high quality landside facilities, particularly ports and harbours. At present, SE and HIE are receiving funding applications for harbour development plans, many of which are targeted at the oil and gas industry. Both enterprise agencies were therefore seeking a review of port characteristics and capacity in Scotland and a subsequent prioritisation of investment.


We provided SE and HIE with a review of Scotland’s port infrastructure, coupled with a shortlist of preferred port investment plans. This was supplemented by a gap analysis indicating in which areas Scottish ports cannot meet the needs of the industry. The final report was used to inform future investment decisions by SE and HIE.

The first step in our approach was to undertake a ports needs analysis of the oil and gas sector in Scotland. This involved a combination of desk-based research and consultation with Tier One and main contractors within the industry. We also consulted port operators and industry organisations. Having done this, we undertook a review of current investment plans at Scotland’s 130 ports and, based on a set of weighted evaluation criteria, sifted this list to identify a shortlist of the most promising ports. We then undertook more detailed capabilities / constraints analysis of the shortlisted ports before finally preparing the gap analysis.

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