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Bibby extends its stay

The Bibby Challenge is extending its stay in Scalloway until November.

AN ACCOMMODATION barge berthed in Scalloway housing workers refurbishing BP’s Sullom Voe oil terminal is due to remain in the village for the next four months.

Maritime company Bibby confirmed on Tuesday that its Challenge vessel has had its charter extended until the end of November. The vessel, which usually houses between 200 and 300 people, originally arrived in Scalloway in 2013.

The company also has its Stockholm accommodation block berthed at Holmsgarth in Lerwick in response to the recent energy boom sparked by the current development of the Shetland Gas Plant in Sullom Voe.

Bibby commercial manager Carl McLaughlin said that the company’s use of the vessels in the isles has so far been a “success”.

“Both of our accommodation barges that have been operating in the Shetland over the past couple of years have consistently met the needs of the workers living on board and this is only proven by the number of extensions requested, their tenures in the Shetland Islands have certainly been a success,” he said.

The Bibby Challenge is joined in Scalloway by the cruise ship Gemini, which was chartered by Petrofac last year.

The contractor had said in June that the gas plant, which has suffered numerous delays, should be in operation sometime between July and September this year.

But after purchasing a 20 per cent stake in the Laggan-Tormore project – which includes the gas plant – from Total, SSE said on Wednesday it only expected the first production sometime before the end of this financial year.