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Marine / New Scalloway fish market to be finished before Christmas

Fish

WORK on the new Scalloway fish market has been given an expected completion date of 17 December.

The update was given at a meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s (SIC) harbour board on Wednesday by marine and airport infrastructure manager Andrew Inkster.

Work on the £5.6 million market has been undertaken by the Aberdeen based CHAP group and Inkster said the project continues to progress well.

“We will have to start thinking about the opening and other formalities,” he said.

North mainland councillor Alastair Cooper took the opportunity to stress that “we need to get it right” when it comes to fish management systems being ready in the market before opening.

He sought reassurance that the “best known practice” will be in place when the market opens.

Cooper added that the replacement Scalloway market – as well as the new Lerwick fish market currently under construction – will be a “step change” in how fish is handled in Shetland.

Inkster also updated members of the harbour board on the progress of plans to replace linkspans at all of the council ferry terminals at a cost of £3.75 million.

The tender for linkspan refurbishment has been awarded to Malakoff, with work expected to be phased in between 2020 and 2022.

Lerwick North councillor Stephen Leask asked whether the council knew the expected level of disruption during the work.

“We anticipate that there will be a situation where the linkspan will be out of action,” Inkster said.

There could be periods of disruption of three to for days at terminals, he added, saying that it could mean a ferry may only be able to take foot passengers, or that a different terminal may need to be used.

Inkster said communities are aware of the potential disruption, but a full communications strategy is being worked on.

The SIC, meanwhile, has commenced work on options for replacing the small vessels at Sullom Voe which help ships moor at the port.

“These vessels are nearly forty years of age and they have had a long, hard life,” Inkster said.

A report presented to members said that “various forms of green propulsion technology” will be considered.

Cooper suggested that the actual purchase of any new mooring vessel should only take place once the long-term future of Sullom Voe Terminal is known, with infrastructure director John Smith confirming that no decisions will be made until there is greater clarity.

He said that the council should know more about the long-term prospects of the terminal in the first quarter of 2020.

It was revealed earlier this year that BP was considering whether it should bypass the terminal when exporting oil from the massive Clair field west of Shetland, which could significantly reduce the lifespan of the facility.

General Election - 12 December 2019