News round-up / Sixareens set sail, gas plant contract changes hands, cable consultation

SHETLAND’s two remaining functional sixareens are set to sail side by side at this year’s boat week.

The Far Haaf will return to the water to sail from Unst to Lerwick for Shetland Boat Week, which is taking place from 5 to 11 August.

She will be joined in the water by fellow sixareen – or sixern – Vaila Mae, which belongs to Shetland Museum.


The Far Haaf is a remake of the original which was destroyed in a storm in 1992. The current boat was built from the keel of the original.

It is usually based at the Unst Boat Haven.

Boat week organiser Brian Wishart said: “I think it is virtually certain that there were not sixerns under traditional fishing rig (square sail or dipping lug) after WW1.

“Sixerns often were turned into flitboats, under a standing lug and jib as a more manageable rig, before they were all gradually motorised. As far as we can tell, this will be the first time in over 100 years that two traditional square sail rig sixerns will be sailed side by side.”


Far Haaf’s journey is also supported by the Shetland Ex-Whalers Association, which has donated the price for the insurance of the boat to make the trip.

THE CONTRACT for delivering services such as catering, housekeeping and transport at the Shetland Gas Plant has changed hands.

Sodexo has taken over the facilities management contract from Compass Group.

The company has signed a five year deal with gas plant operator Total which will see it provide services to over 1,200 employees at three sites in Aberdeen and the Shetland facility.


A CONSULTATION event to gather views on a proposed interconnector cable between Shetland and the Scottish mainland is set to take place in Lerwick next week.

The SSEN Transmission event will take place at Mareel on 25 July between 3pm and 7.30pm.

The high voltage direct current link is required to allow proposed large renewable energy developments, like the Viking Energy wind farm, to export energy to the UK’s national grid.

The proposed cable between Weisdale Voe and Noss Head in Caithness would be around 260km long, with all but 10km installed beneath the seabed.

The link could also be used to provide power to help support Shetland’s every day electricity requirements and address its future security of supply needs for when Lerwick Power Station closes at some point before 2025.

The team behind the cable plans are keen to hear feedback before applying for a marine licence.

Kelly Scott, SSEN transmission’s community liaison manager, said: “As a responsible developer we want to keep the local community updated on our proposals and are committed to consider any feedback provided prior to submitting our marine planning application.”