THE DROP in oil flowing through Sullom Voe terminal will cost Shetland Islands Council almost £1.5 million this year, placing even greater pressure on its already strained budget.
The SIC’s harbour board meets on Thursday 6 September to discuss how it can address the reduced income at the oil port, which has generated hundreds of millions of pounds for the local authority over the past 30 years.
A reduction in throughput of Brent crude from the North Sea is forecast to cut income from handling tanker traffic this financial year by £674,000.
A further loss of £760,000 comes from the early closure of the Schiehallion field west of Shetland, also leading to fewer tankers in the port.
There has also been a £100,000 overspend on the hire of towage services to cover for the refit of the harbour tug Tirrick, which will be discussed in more detail by the full council on 20 September.
Meanwhile an increase in oil related traffic at Scalloway harbour has created a surplus of £100,000 so far through vessels supporting exploration work in the north Atlantic. More money is likely to come in over the winter, though probably at a reduced rate.
The council is currently looking for savings of £30 million over two years to balance its books and avoid bankruptcy in five years. This year’s savings target is £15.4 million.
This reduced income from Sullom Voe means further savings will have to be found elsewhere if the council is stay on target.
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