Investments Seek To Attract Offshore Decommissioning

by Alastair Hamilton -

Shetland plays several roles in Britain's oil and gas exploration and production. Now, the decommissioning of oil platforms has prompted two new investments.

As well as hosting an oil and gas terminal at Sullom Voe, Shetland has, for four decades, provided a base for supporting offshore operations in the North Sea and North Atlantic. Investment continues both onshore and offshore, with the construction of a new gas plant at Sullom Voe by Total. Lerwick already offers a wide range of services to the industry and the port's capacity to handle decommissioning work will be greatly strengthened by two new investments.

Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) is undertaking an £11.95m quayside infrastructure project at Dales Voe South in order to support the development of oil and gas decommissioning in Shetland. The expansion will support around 120 permanent island jobs.

In addition, Peterson (United Kingdom) Ltd is proposing investments up to £8.64m in its "Deep Water Shetland" project to further support and expand its existing decommissioning capability. Working jointly with its partners in decommissioning, Veolia, the project could create around 67 high value jobs and add around £10m to the local economy.

The investments, which aim to create Scotland's only centre of excellence in decommissioning work, were announced by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, who said that there was the potential for Scotland to become a "global leader" in decommissioning.

Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, noted that, at Dales Voe, the project would almost treble the quay to 130 metres and offer a load-bearing capacity of 60 tonnes per square metre, making it unique in Scotland.

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