Decommissioning grants for local firms

The oil drilling rig Buchan Alpha is the first larger oil installation to be decommissioned in Shetland. Photo: Shetland News
The Buchan Alpha platform at Dales Voe last year. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

TWO Shetland based companies are among a group of six enterprises that have been offered a share of a £1.5 million fund set up to stimulate Scotland’s budding oil and gas decommissioning industry.

Lerwick Engineering & Fabrication Ltd (LEF) and Sella Ness based EMN Plant Ltd have both been successful in the second round decommissioning challenge fund.


Managing director of EMN Plant, Ellis Nicolson, said he was delighted to receive financial backing of £114,000 to help the plant hire and civil engineering firm diversifying into decommissioning.

 He said the company’s focus was not so much on the Lerwick decommissioning base at Dales Voe, but on plans by new Sullom Voe Terminal operator EnQuest to decommission parts of terminal that were no longer needed.

Nicolson said: “The funding is mainly equipment such specialist excavators with shear attachments to process scrap metal, but also specialist training for our staff.”

In Lerwick meanwhile LEF has been allocated £81,330 mainly to invest into a CNC plasma profiler and a high capacity bandsaw and material handling system.


The other projects successful in the bidding round were Dales Marine Services, Edinburgh – £765,000, Downhole Energy, Glasgow – £126,000, Kishorn Port – £322,000 and Orkney Islands Council – £96,000.

During a visit to Dales Marine Ltd in Leith Docks on Thursday morning, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the Scottish Government was delighted to contribute to the project of upgrading the Imperial Dry Dock in Leith to ensure the future of the site for vessel decommissioning.

“Our Decommissioning Challenge Fund is a clear signal to the market to think seriously about decommissioning – a market that is forecast to be worth up to £17 billion over the period to 2025 – and to plan and invest accordingly,” the minister said.