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Harbour budget

Sullom Voe Terminal. Photo: John Bateson

SHETLAND Islands Council’s harbour operations are expected to contribute just over £7 million to council services during the next financial year – an increase of nearly £1 million from 2017/18.

Around £1 million will come from the lease and throughput charges of the Shetland Gas Plant.

Members of the harbour board met on Wednesday morning to approve charges for services ranging from landing fish across council owned piers to using the port of Sullom Voe to export thousands of barrels of oil.

While most charges were increased by the rate of inflation, there were some significant hikes for specific services.

Acting executive manager ports and harbours John Smith said the port calculations were based on the expectation that around 70 tankers would call at the port in 2018/19.

Business at the terminal is expected to receive a significant boost in late summer when the long-awaited Clair Ridge development is expected to come on stream.

Piped into the terminal via the existing pipeline, the new field is said to add 100,000 barrels per day in throughput.

Smith said the outlook was “reasonable positive overall”, adding that expectations for 2019/20 were for tanker traffic to rise to above the 90 mark.

The other major change to the port’s income structure is the introduction of a new charging system for fishing vessels tying up at council piers and the significant increase in landing charges for farmed shellfish and salmon.

Dues for landing farmed fish will go up by 28 per cent to £18.80 per tonne, and for farmed fish by as much as 62 per cent to £7.60 per tonne to reflect increased costs but also the higher value of the product landed.

Smith said: “The harbour account continues to make a contribution to the wellbeing of Shetland.”