Scotland’s Minister for Energy and the Environment, Gillian Martin MSP had the opportunity to use the marine simulator on her visit to the NDC.


The National Decommissioning Centre (NDC) has marked its fifth anniversary with a visit from Scotland’s Minister for Energy and the Environment, Gillian Martin MSP.

On her tour of the facility in Newburgh today (Tuesday, January 16) the Minister heard how the University of Aberdeen is supporting the energy transition through research taking place at the NDC and through its Centre for Energy Transition 

 She also learned of the NDC’s achievements since its launch, including:   

On her tour of the facility, Ms Martin had the opportunity to use the marine simulator to manoeuvre a wind turbine out of the new Aberdeen South Harbour.  

She was also told about research led by the Centre for Energy Transition, including in key areas such as offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, data and artificial intelligence and marine spatial planning.  

Speaking afterwards, Ms Martin said: “Taking the opportunity to see the fantastic work which the NDC is doing to support the energy sector with Scottish Government backing has been a privilege. 

“The decommissioning of fossil fuel installations is integral to the pursuit of an orderly, managed transition to net-zero. This has the potential to create benefits and opportunities for people across Scotland. 

“Our focus is on creating opportunities for a highly productive and green economy, providing new jobs, embedding innovation and boosting skills.” 

Professor Richard Neilson, Director NDC, added: “Since the NDC was opened five years ago we have completed 25 projects, secured more than £8m in additional funding and employed eight research staff and 15 PhD students, all of whom are making a huge contribution towards the economic development of the north-east of Scotland.   

 “It is exciting to know that the expertise and technology developed here in Newburgh and used in the North Sea can be exported elsewhere in years to come, and we have been fortunate to have had great support from the Scottish and UK Governments through the Aberdeen City Region Deal, as well as from the University of Aberdeen and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).” 

Professor John Underhill, Director of the Centre for Energy Transition, added: “The NDC forms a key part of the University’s efforts to deliver research and training solutions enabling Scotland and the UK to meet net zero goals and train the next generation of energy experts.  

“As a University, we are committed to skills training that will meet this aim, and we have been delighted to announce several recent initiatives including the appointment of new research fellows focused on the energy transition and our involvement in a UK-wide research group focusing on mineral resources.  

 “We have also been offering fully funded online study opportunities to help people upskill and reskill for the energy transition, thanks to support from the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA) and Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund.   

 “This has proved hugely popular, further underlining the demand for quality skills training here in the north-east of Scotland as the workforce and industry adapt to net zero goals.”  

Notes for Editors

Notes for Editors

The Net Zero Technology Centre has allocated £12.7 million of its £180 million Aberdeen City Region Deal support from the Scottish and UK Governments towards creation and development of the National Decommissioning Centre. The Scottish Government’s Decommissioning Challenge Fund has also supported the simulator which provides a space to optimise and analyse operations before deployment without the high risk or cost associated with trials in open water.  

 Examples include modelling of offshore wind mooring systems, assessment of novel wind turbine substructure designs and construction and testing of decommissioning scenarios.  

 Read more about the NDC’s work at  

The Centre for Energy Transition is one of the 5 Interdisciplinary Research Challenge Areas that form part of the University’s 2040 strategy, more details about which can be found via the following links:  

 Interdisciplinary Challenges | Aberdeen 2040 | The University of Aberdeen (  

 Accelerating the Energy Transition | Research | The University of Aberdeen (  


PublishedTuesday January 16th, 2024