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News round-up / New emissions figures, financial health check, water works and warm home discount

A massive fire ball is being emitted from the flare stack of Shetland Gas Plant. Photo: Mark BerryA photo of Shetland Gas Plant closing down for maintenance with a spectacular 'blow-down' fire ball, in May 2018. Photo: Mark Berry.

FIGURES for Shetland’s top carbon dioxide polluters in 2017 have been revealed.

Shetland Gas Plant continues to be the main local contributor to greenhouse gas emissions with the facility releasing over 239,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during the year.

This was an increase of around four thousand tonnes compared to 2016.

The figures, released by environmental agency SEPA, showed that the plant emitted the 14th highest level of carbon dioxide in Scotland in 2017.

The Engie power station at Sullom Voe Terminal released just over 229,000 tonnes, while Lerwick Power Station emitted around 77,500 tonnes.

Sullom Voe Terminal itself released 77,320 tonnes.

The energy recovery plant at Greenhead in Lerwick, meanwhile, released 16,115 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the environment.

THE SCOTTISH Government is urging low-income families to kick-start 2019 by finding out how they can maximise their income and reduce costs.

Offering free, impartial advice and support, the Financial Health Check is a one-stop personalised service on money matters. A call can be made to 0800 085 7145 for families to find out what they are entitled to.

Cabinet secretary for communities and local government Aileen Campbell said: “Too many people are not accessing everything they could be, and we want to ensure the right support is there to help people make the most of their financial situation.

“The service will cover issues such as access to free school meals, benefit uptake, council tax reduction and cheaper deals on energy and other utilities to reduce household costs.”

More information is also available on the Parentclub Scotland website at www.parentclub.scot

SCOTTISH Water is warning of road works and occasional disruptions to supplies as work to improve the water network in the north of the Shetland mainland gets under way next week.

The utility is investing £7 million into replacing some of the water main from the Eela Water treatment plant to Mavis Grind and, in a second phase of the project, laying 7.2 kilometre of new water main along the B9076 from Voxter to Sullom Voe Terminal.

Work on phase one will start on Monday and it is expected to last for around 14 months.

Scottish Water said that during that time there may be several planned interruptions to the water supply, but customers would get at least 48 hours notice of any supply disruption.

Local team leader Jim Anderson said: “The investment we are making will increase the resilience of the trunk main from Eela Water treatment works and ensure it continues to serve local communities well for years to come.

“We recognise that it will involve some short term disruption and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding while this essential work takes place.”

Updates on the progress of the works will be posted at www.scottishwater.co.uk/EelaSullom

ENERGY supplier SSE is encouraging its customers to apply for a £140 discount on their winter heating bills through the Warm House Discount.

Customers may be eligible for the discount if they or their partner are in receipt of certain benefits, suffer from a long-term illness, are disabled or are on a low income. But the scheme closes to new applicants in the coming fortnight.

SSE customer service operations director Gareth Wood said: “We know the winter months can be concerning for some households as the colder nights set in and the heating comes on.

“That’s why we’re urging customers to get in touch with us if they think they might be eligible for financial assistance under the Warm Home Discount.

For more information about the Warm Home Discount and how to apply visit www.sse.co.uk/whd or call 0800 300111