Prime minister Theresa May has announced government backing for a new engineering hub in Aberdeen to help the oil and gas sector transition to greener energy sources.
The Global Underwater Engineering Hub will bring together academia and industry to help the UK’s oil and gas sector diversify and support the UK move away from fossil fuels towards clean growth.
Plans for the hub were drawn up by research group the Oil & Gas Technology Centre.
May said the centre would secure Aberdeen’s future as a centre for clean energy. “Cementing Aberdeen’s place as an energy hub for offshore and renewables, the new hub would bring together areas of excellence in underwater technology under a single commercial vision,” she said.
“It would support industry, generate new skilled jobs and help us in the fight against climate change.”
The announcement was part of the May’s address to the Scottish Conservative Conference.
The hub will focus on developing subsea robotics and remotely operated subsea engineering vehicles.
Business minister Andrew Stephenson added that the centre would reinforce the global supply chain based in Scotland. “As the UK continues to transition towards a low-carbon economy, the Global Underwater Engineering Hub can help the region rise to the challenge of this transition, helping to anchor the UK’s expert engineering supply chain here in the north east of Scotland,” he said.
The UK already has a 40% share of the global market in underwater engineering and is in prime position to capitalise on the industry that could be worth more than £100bn globally by 2035.
The sector supports around 280,000 jobs in the UK and meets around half of the UK’s energy needs.
Last week the Committee on Climate Change published its report Net Zero, which calls for the government to undertake radical changes to ensure the UK is carbon neutral by 2050 – including sweeping changes to energy production.
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