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ETZ Ltd: the company leading the north-east of Scotland’s energy transition

Learn about Scotland’s largest dedicated energy transition facility and how we’re supporting the company behind it.

15 Jan 2024 | 6 minute read

The north-east of Scotland has a rich history in the energy industry and has built a reputation as a global hub for oil and gas. Now, it’s looking to use that experience to support Scotland’s transition to net zero.  

ETZ Ltd is leading this energy transition ambition. It’s a private sector-led, not-for-profit company founded in 2021, with the goal of repositioning the north-east of Scotland as the net zero energy capital of Europe.

The key focus of ETZ Ltd’s activity is the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ).  

About the Energy Transition Zone 

The Energy Transition Zone is a 250-hectare site that's close to the newly regenerated Aberdeen South Harbour and within 100 nautical miles of the majority of ScotWind licenses (currently the world’s largest commercial offshore wind leasing round).  

It’s the largest dedicated energy transition complex in Scotland and uses a specialist campus model that facilitates collaboration, company growth and energy opportunities.

The complex will use a campus model that splits the site into four key campuses: Offshore Wind, Hydrogen, Innovation and Skills. It will also have a Marine Gateway located close to the harbour. 

A unique green opportunity for businesses 

ETZ Ltd will support the delivery of new and refurbished commercial property in the zone to the net zero standard set out by the Scottish Government.  

To achieve this, ETZ Ltd has worked alongside Zero Waste Scotland and market-leading consultants to develop a clear and achievable framework that focuses on: 

  • Circular economy 
  • Energy strategy 
  • Building performance 
  • Landscape, environment, and biodiversity 
  • Community and place 

This approach means businesses inside the zone will benefit from reduced running costs, long-term sustainability, and a green competitive advantage.  

At the time of writing, ETZ Ltd will initially provide 40 hectares of this premium development space for domestic and international businesses. This area of the site will offer a combination of revitalised commercial properties and a new release of catalytic greenfield development areas. 

By applying the framework and considering of the whole-life carbon impact of each property, businesses in the zone can become leading examples of how the right approach to buildings and infrastructure can accelerate the transition to net zero.

Delivering sustainable green jobs 

ETZ Ltd is committed to ensuring that there are real benefits for the community around and near the zone, not just for the businesses looking to invest in it.  

Working alongside representatives from the community, the company is set to co-design, develop, and implement a community wealth building programme that includes a range of greenspace enhancements and dedicated community spaces and facilities.  

The creation of sustainable green jobs is another element of this commitment. ETZ Ltd has the ambition to provide people with the skills needed to capitalise on energy transition activities, whether they’re new to the energy sector or are looking to transition from the oil and gas industry. 

The 2022 RGU Making the Switch report highlights that the north-east of Scotland is home to 45,000 energy jobs, with further research showing that 90% of the oil and gas workforce has medium-high skills transferability to renewable energy sectors.

As such, ETZ Ltd is committed to furnishing the existing workforce with the skills needed to maximise their employment opportunities in the energy transition zone and beyond. It has already begun doing this through a range of skills-related initiatives, such as the All Energy Apprenticeship, National Energy Skills Accelerator, and a project formed from a portion of the North-East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund that aims to provide inclusive training at all levels. 

ETZ Ltd is also building Scotland’s first dedicated Advanced Manufacturing Skills Hub in the Energy Transition Zone’s Skills Campus. This flexible teaching facility will operate in collaboration with North-East Scotland College an will be home to a mobile skills lab that can be used to extend the facility's reach by visiting local schools to promote clean energy careers.

ETZ Ltd’s achievements so far 

It may have only been established in 2021, but ETZ Ltd is already delivering on its mission to make the north-east the net zero energy capital of Europe.  

Energy Transition Skills Hub

Work has begun on the state-of-the-art Energy Transition Skills Hub, which aims to help 1000 people move into energy-transition focused jobs over the first five years. The hub is being built on the site of a disused dairy and will singlehandedly quadruple the capacity of the existing training facilities at the college. 

Energy Incubator and Scale Up Hub 

ETZ Ltd secured a total of £3 million in funding from energy giant bp and Scottish Enterprise for its Energy Incubator Hub and Scale Up Hub. The hub will be the focal point of the innovation campus. It will foster manufacturing, supply chain company building, technology research and development and commercialisation, as well as targeted business support to drive entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth. 

Learn more about ETZ's Energy Incubator 

W-Zero-1 Opening 

The former Richard Irvin House has seen a comprehensive refurbishment in line with ETZ Ltd’s net zero framework and was formally opened in June 2023. The building is now home to Trojan Energy, the ORE-Catapult National Floating Wind Innovation Centre, and US subsea technology and services company HonuWorx. 

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Programme 

ETZ Ltd allocated funding from the North-East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund to deliver this vital programme. It provides a platform for oil and gas operators to work closely with supply chain companies to identify opportunities and explore deployable solutions to reduce GHG emissions.

Adrian Gillespie, Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise

How we work with ETZ Ltd 

Scottish Enterprise is a founding board member of ETZ Ltd and has set up a dedicated ETZ account team. This team brings together colleagues from across Scottish Enterprise to support the company across a range of topics, from high growth start up and innovation specialists to business growth account managers.  

Our work with ETZ Ltd will be captured in a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the period to 2031. This MoU will demonstrate how close collaboration and co-investment will deliver significant economic gains for the region and for Scotland.

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