New ultra-deep port to unlock Scotland’s decommissioning potential

Dales Voe in Shetland has been identified as the optimal location for an ultra-deepwater port following an extensive feasibility study.

Dales Voe; Photo by: Mike Pennington; Source: Geograph.org.uk – under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license

The Scottish Government said on Monday that Dales Voe, a bay nearby Fora Ness and Noness Head, was selected as a preferred location following a UK-wide feasibility study conducted by Ernst and Young.

The announcement was made on Shetland during UK’s Oil & Gas Authority roundtable event. According to the study, Dales Voe is the optimal and most cost-effective location for decommissioning work.

The Government added in its announcement that an ultra-deepwater port in Scotland was a key program for Government commitments.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “I believe investment in a deepwater port will unlock the potential for Scotland to secure the largest decommissioning contracts that require the largest heavy lift vessels currently in operation in the North Sea.

“A deepwater port in Scotland will bring significant benefits not only for a single location but as a key part of an integrated and networked Scotland wide decommissioning offering, with wider opportunities realized through the supply chain.”

Sandra Laurenson, chief executive of the Lerwick Port Authority, said: “Official identification of Dales Voe in a nation-wide feasibility study as the optimal location for the UK’s ultra-deepwater decommissioning facility is a welcome endorsement of our belief that this is an excellent future opportunity for Shetland.

“Such a development would benefit the country, greatly strengthening capabilities in a highly competitive international market. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, industry and others on the next steps necessary for such a significant investment to be realized.”

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