A new Hunterston decommissioning facility to dismantle drilling rigs and ships could be open later this year.
The company behind the project - CessCon Decom Ltd - say it will be one of the continent's 'premier decommissioning facilities', using the 400m long jetty which has water depth of around 30m. Their website states that it hopes to be up and running for the last quarter of 2018.
Peel Ports, who own the site, have been marketing it site since the end of coal ship visits following the closure of Longannet and the extensions including caisson gates have been given the green light by the local authority. 
However, Fairlie Community Council have voiced concerns, along with Councillor Alan Hill, that an environment impact statement has not been provided in relation to the overall development.
CessCon Decom state that they aim to achieve up to 98 per cent recycling of all materials that cannot be reused, and 'provide solutions for the removal of offshore assets and infrastructure in a safe, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective"' way.
The company provide decommissioning services to the onshore and offshore oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical and nuclear industries, and work with all major oil and gas operators, heavy lift, transportation, and engineering design contractors.
Fairlie community councillor David Telford says he is dismayed that there was no environmental impact assessment (EIA) carried out on such a massive industrial project on the coastline. 
He also voiced concerns about the impact on the local marine wildlife in the area.
Mr Telford said: "The environmental impact could be horrendous.
"Although the plans went to the planning committee the officers had already decided by that point that they didn’t need an environmental impact study, which is bizarre.
"Something as important as that should not be decided by the officers."
But Councillor Tom Marshall, who is chair of planning, said: "The argument goes that an EIA is required for each individual decommissioning operation and does not apply to the overall grant of planning permission.
"So in essence each structure that is decommissioned will be subject to a separate EIA because they are all different types of structures and their environmental impact will be specific to them. This is assuming that contracts for decommissioning are actually awarded. 
"That is the ruling from the council‘s lawyers and I’m quite happy to accept it."
In relation to the recent planning permissions, North Ayrshire Council have placed a condition on the developer that a pre-construction survey is carried out.
The condition also includes a risk assessment including potential impacts of construction on marine mammals, and details of preventative measures to avoid long term impacts on marine mammals and pollution of the foreshore.
The site won grant funding from the Scottish Government and was one one of seven projects across Scotland to have been offered a share of £1.1 million from the first awards from the Decommissioning Challenge Fund.
CessCon chief executive Lee Hanlon said the facility would help 'stem the flow of North Sea decommissioning work leaving the UK for Norway'.
He said: “Our strategy is to develop a UK operations base at the Peel Ports Hunterston PARC Facility to further enhance Scotland’s decommissioning capabilities.
“This will bring new employment opportunities to Scotland, and contribute to reducing the number of oil and gas assets which leave the UK to be decommissioned.”