Aberdeen underwater engineering hub set for £5 million boost

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a further £5 million for the global underwater hub in Aberdeen, building on last year’s £1.3 million commitment. 

This is part of the government boost for Scottish businesses looking to receive more than £57 million to their green energy transition and further investment to create local jobs in key sectors  in tomorrow’s budget (Wednesday 3 March). 

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak should also commit £27 million for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, a first step in delivering on the UK government’s promise for a sector deal for the oil and gas industry.  

Reportedly, this is could transform North East Scotland into a globally competitive hub for cleaner energies such as offshore wind and hydrogen as the industry decarbonises and diversifies, supporting green jobs and helping the industry transition on our path to net zero.

These proposals will leverage existing skills and expertise in the area and drive forwards a low carbon future for the area and secure the long-term viability of the energy sector.

The North Sea Transition Deal will support jobs and net zero as the oil and gas industry decarbonises and diversifies to cleaner energies. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: 

“It’s vital that as we deliver our Plan for Jobs and level-up across the whole UK we build back better in a sustainable way.  

“The measures set out in tomorrow’s Budget will boost Scotland’s transformation into a green energy hub, deliver on our commitment to Net Zero, and deliver a boost that cities and industry need.” 

Subsea UK CEO Neil Gordon

Commenting on today’s announcement from the Chancellor, Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said:

“With this further, and very welcome, funding from the UK government for the Global Underwater Hub, the industry and all stakeholders will deliver a sustainable institution with the necessary resources to significantly grow the UK’s underwater engineering capability and capacity, capitalising on the opportunities in the energy transition and the blue economy.

“The £7.8billion subsea industry, with its roots in oil and gas, a strong foothold in offshore wind and massive potential in marine renewables, defence, ocean science, aquaculture and other segments of the blue economy, can become one of the UK’s fastest-growing, high value industries of the future, increasing exports, creating jobs and contributing not only to economic recovery but, crucially, to delivery of our net-zero targets.”

Global Underwater Hub

Bringing together underwater technologies from both industry and academia, the planned hub should reinforce the UK’s status in the field and build on expertise in subsea robotics, remotely-operated underwater vehicles and maritime support vessels.

Seizing the opportunities in the blue economy will also help the UK’s oil and gas sector diversify and support the UK move away from fossil fuels towards clean growth.

The UK subsea sector could play a crucial role in helping deliver net-zero targets by creating a thriving blue economy across multiple industries, from offshore renewables to aquaculture and defence to hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage.

To realise this potential, Opportunity North East, Subsea UK, Scottish Enterprise and the Oil and Gas Authority have worked together to create a global underwater hub that will connect and grow the UK’s underwater sector at home and overseas.

Led by a team in Aberdeen, the Hub will also have a physical presence in England. It will provide global market insight and cross-sector sharing and collaboration, with skills and company support also identified as key areas within the proposal.