A final decision over whether to give the go-ahead to a major investment project at the Nigg fabrication yard in Easter Ross has been delayed until May.
The plan to build offshore wind turbines at Nigg would bring the largely redundant site back to life and potentially create up to 2,000 jobs.
But owners KBR said further scrutiny of its proposals was needed.
Management at the US-based firm said the plans were "high risk" due to uncertainty over renewables markets.
If KBR goes ahead with the project its total investment could be well over £100m.
The Nigg yard once employed thousands of people, and some of the North Sea's largest oil platforms were built there.
There has been a complex landownership dispute at Nigg that has been blamed for it being left empty for the past few years.
Highland Council is threatening to pursue a compulsory purchase order on the yard if KBR fails to bring in fresh work.