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Buchan Alpha brought towards land for dismantling

The Buchan Alpha platform on Monday afternoon after being brought towards land. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

THE DISMANTLING of the Buchan Alpha oil production vessel is set to begin at Dales Voe in Lerwick after the structure was brought alongside the site’s deep water jetty.

The 12,000 tonne rig has been cleaned over the last few weeks while situated in the voe, with its topside weight cut back and its thrusters removed to reduce draught.

The Buchan Alpha, which produced 150 million barrels of oil over its 36 year lifespan before it ceased production on May, is the first major North Sea floating production facility to be decommissioned in Scotland.

The project is being led by Veolia and Peterson, while Ocean Kinetics has been providing marine operational support and are now fabricating access towers and gangways.

It is hoped that more large scale decommissioning projects could take place in Shetland in the coming years thanks to Lerwick Port Authority’s new £12 million Dales Voe site.

Ocean Kinetics business development manager Derek Leask said: “We’re delighted to provide support to the first major decommissioning project to take place at Lerwick Port Authority’s recently opened Dales Voe Base.”