LOCAL MSP Rob Gibson has accompanied First Minister Alex Salmond on a visit to the Nigg Energy Park in Easter Ross.
The politicians hailed the development of the facility just nine months after the sale of the largely-disused yard.
Mr Salmond viewed work at the manufacturing and servicing facility where Global Energy Group – which bought the 238-acre site last October – estimates up to 2000 people could be employed by 2015.
The First Minister also met trainees at Nigg Skills Academy, the industry-led training facility at the energy park which he launched in March.
Mr Gibson said the First Minister’s visit demonstrated the SNP Government’s commitment to the energy park and the SNP’s determination to move the Highland economy forward.
He said: “The SNP Government is committed to supporting the Nigg Energy Park. It is a facility of vital importance to Easter Ross and to the whole of the Highlands.”
Mr Gibson claimed Nigg will be a centre for the renewables revolution taking place in waters around the world.
“This is the First Minister’s third visit to Nigg. He has demonstrated his enthusiastic and full support for the work of Global and partners and I am delighted that he is able to come up here and see the positive impact this is having,” he added.