New Scottish secretary asked to help Nigg yard efforts
Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander has been asked to help bring a former oil yard back into use as a site for constructing renewable energy devices.
US engineering giant KBR, which owns most of Nigg in Easter Ross, is trying to sell the site.
But Highland Council has been concerned about the time it has taken to find a new owner.
It has asked Mr Alexander and the Scottish government to help take the yard into public control.
Planning, environment and development committee chairman Ian Ross told councillors "new faces" in the UK government could be supportive of the council's efforts.
The council, which is keen to see Nigg used for renewable power projects, will also speed up legal moves to take over the site.
By using staff from its own legal team, the local authority will be able to hasten efforts to secure a compulsory purchase order (CPO).
The planning committee was warned that to pursue a CPO would cost an initial £50,000 and, if it was challenged, would extend the legal process by two years.
Mr Alexander is the Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey in the Highlands.