The Highland bid to host a green free port has been successful, according to local political sources.
The news has sparked hopes it will become the biggest single economic development in the north since the heyday of oil and gas.
The announcement was due to have been made last autumn, but was delayed despite a decision already having been taken.
MP for the area Jamie Stone said that he had heard that Opportunity Cromarty Firth was likely to be the site of a green freeport.
“I have heard from many sources that it is very, very likely that the Prime Minister will be making the announcement on Friday and that Opportunity Cromarty Firth has been successful.
“Assuming that is true then I wholeheartedly welcome the this initiative by the government and take great pride in being part of the team that lobbied hard for this.”
He added: “I feel my words at Westminster, including during Prime Minister’s Questions, on this were not wasted.”
It has been known for some time that a decision had been reached after Alistair Jack, the Scottish Secretary, speaking at the Conservative Party conference in October last year confirmed that.
He reiterated that stance speaking to the Scottish Affair Committee at Westminster when he said it was just a matter of diary planning to make the announcement.
On the line were millions in tax cuts and billions of pounds of investment as well as what was estimated as tens of thousands of jobs but Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF), the consortium behind the bid, came out on top.
A green free port is a large zoned area within a defined boundary extending around 28 miles or 45km that includes rail, sea or air ports.
Operators and businesses inside that zone benefit from a package of tax and other incentives with the intention of boosting economic growth.