July 11 - The Port of Cromarty Firth's Invergordon Service Base has been chosen to handle the next phase of developments at the Moray Offshore wind farm and the Inchcape wind farm.

On July 9 the Chinese heavy lift vessel Xia Zhi Yuan 6 arrived in port from Cartagena, Spain, carrying the first concrete gravity base caissons for use in the offshore projects.

The Port of Cromarty Firth has been selected as it is the closest port to the wind farms capable of providing both a sheltered, deepwater berth and onshore supply chain service necessary to see the project through to completion, said a company statement.

The caissons are to be used in the construction offshore weather stations, one at Moray wind farm and one at Inchcape, near Edinburgh.

Each caisson will be fitted with a large steel monopole and a 90m tall steel lattice tower, on to which meteorological equipment will be installed.

Bob Buskie, ceo for the Port of Cromarty Firth said: "Talks began last year, with the unique suitability of Invergordon Service Base quickly being singled out from other competitors as the key port facility with all the right components to manage this project."

The port recently embarked on a USD42.8 million expansion project, which will see it reclaim 9 acres from the sea and add a further deepwater berth to its existing port capabilities.  The expansion will be completed by summer 2015.