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Plans for ‘one stop shop’ for decommissioning

The Buchan Alpha platform at Dales Voe. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

THERE are plans to expand the decommissioning facilities at Dales Voe in Lerwick in the hope of attracting more business to Shetland.

Peterson has submitted a planning application to the council to turn a quayside area at the site into a facility which would provide a fuller service in dismantling heavy structures from the oil industry.

The logistics company and partner Veolia are currently using the Dales Voe site as part of the decommissioning of the large Buchan Alpha production vessel, but it wants to develop the facility on a longer-term basis.

Peterson says it wants to create a “one stop shop” for decommissioning in Shetland with support from the existing facility at Greenhead Base in Lerwick.

The work at the proposed facility would mainly consist of breaking up structures and shipping the parts away, and it is thought that around 20-50 employees would work on the site at peak times during contracts.

The proposed new decommissioning area would be nearly 20,000 square metres in size and the land is owned by Lerwick Port Authority (LPA), with Peterson due to lease the site.

Last year LPA formally launched a revamped Dales Voe following a £12 million investment which saw the pier being lengthened to 127 metes with a water depth of 12.5 metres – the deepest in Scotland.

The main activities at the site earmarked by Peterson at the moment include general freight handling and storage.

The site would operate as a stand-alone or a facility “complementing and augmenting” the ongoing work at Greenhead Base, which has been used in the Buchan Alpha work for decontamination and to process more difficult parts of the structure.

Peterson decommissioning manager James Johnson said the existing facilities offer the “ideal location to service the northern and central north sea”.

The Buchan Alpha is the largest offshore structure to be decommissioned in Scotland and there are hopes that Shetland could attract more work like this in the future.

“If our plans are accepted the expanded facilities at Dales Voe, deep waters and one of the strongest quaysides in the UK would allow us to create an even stronger offering to the market,” Johnson said.

“The further developments to the site will create the opportunity to attract business in turn leading to more employment, work for the local supply chain and opportunities for the local community.”