Inverness firm Global Energy Group sends staff home due to coronavirus
One of the largest companies in the Highlands has announced that it has sent home staff until further notice to do what it can to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Global Energy Group is one of the largest employers in the north with hundreds of people based at sites and offices in Inverness, Invergordon and at the Nigg Energy Park.
It is viewed as being vital to the Highland economy as a whole in supporting not just employment but skills in the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.
However, following discussions the decision has been taken to shut down work “with safety of paramount importance for everyone.”
There is no word yet on when operations could restart but the Port of Nigg will remain in working because it is “handling critical supplies.”
The company is also looking into the feasibility of donating badly needed personal protective equipment to the NHS but it remains to be seen if it is of use in a hospital setting.
Communications director of the Global Energy Group, Alastair Kennedy, said: "Our latest daily communication came out late yesterday which confirmed the Global Northern Fabrication workshops within the Cromarty Firth closed last night until further notice.
"The Port of Nigg remains open as it is handling critical supplies from vessels entering our facility.
"We are an extremely complex business with multiple sites doing multiple works in multiple energy industries. However, given this unprecedented situation, the government guidelines and with safety of paramount importance for everyone, we took the action we thought right and appropriate at this time.
"We are also looking into the concept of trying to find some sort of personal protective equipment (PPE), possibly face masks which might go a small way to assist our local hospitals.
“We are not sure yet as we are predominantly an oil and gas business and so this is maybe a long shot, given the type of PPE we use. However, we are looking into this and will help if we can.”