Plans for a wind farm have overshadowed the opening of Aberdeen Harbour’s new control centre.
The port has a state-of-the-art £4.5 million Marine Operations Centre at Footdee.
But harbour bosses claimed plans for a 23- turbine offshore wind farm at the harbour mouth could be a hazard at the port, which handles 17,000 ships a year.
A planning application is to be submitted by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group and infrastructure firm AMEC next year. Aberdeen Harbour chief executive Colin Parker claimed the proposed development could pose a danger to shipping.
He said the harbour board was not opposed to the idea of a wind farm, but the current plans for the turbines meant they would interfere with vital shipping radar.
AREG’s Iain Todd said the impact on shipping was being investigated and would be assessed through consultation with the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
Mr Parker also slammed the decision to scrap a rail yard to make way for a car park at the new Union Square shopping development.
The yard, he claimed, would have been the ideal site for a transport hub, allowing shipping freight to be put straight on to trains.
But he was delighted with the harbour’s new control centre.
The six-storey glass, steel and stone building – which was designed to reflect a traditional lighthouse –
succeeds the “Roundhouse”, which was in operation for more than 200 years.
Mr Parker said: “We think it is an iconic building at the entrance to the city.”
The city’s port is on course to handle more than 5 million tonnes of cargo this year for the first time in its history.
By James Tout
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