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Letters / Greens would ‘jeopardise’ Shetland’s economy

The Sullom Voe terminals are ticking along very nicely and contribute a welcome sum to the SIC coffers and provide much needed local employment. Long may that last to the continued benefit and prosperity of Shetland, to which any added volume would obviously augment the council’s finances.

Recently a political party and prospective candidates have objected to further offshore exploration and development which would affect Shetland; gas in particular. They are mistaken.

Any incremental addition to the volume passing through SGP will be minuscule vis a vis world-wide production. The European gas shortage has resulted in rocketing prices for essentials manifested by the increases observed in the cost of everything and the hiatus over Russian supplies has led to substantial shipments of LNG from the USA.

The price of gas/energy is a function of supply and demand and is traded on the Amsterdam TTF Natural Gas Exchange and the Henry-Hub in Texas via the New York Nymex Exchange in USD/Mmbtu units.

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Thankfully there are arbitrage opportunities between the prices in the above exchanges which allows suppliers to move cargo from the USA to UK/Europe. The wholesale prices of these commodities are not immune to these market mechanisms hence their upward direction.

All might agree that there is a lack of energy/Btu supply, but the UK Government declined to build new nuclear plants (unlike the French) and the Scottish Government in their considerable wisdom shut one down and another is earmarked for closure shortly, all supported by the Greens. Incompetence by both I suggest.

The Holyrood administration has relied perhaps unwisely on ‘renewables’ to fill the supply gap because their timing is adrift by at least a decade due to the untimely exit of nuclear plants.

That brings me back to the issue of additional supply to the SGP. Increased terminal through-put should be warmly supported by all SIC councillors (extant and candidates) and the UK Government. Fortunately, in due course electricity from wind farms and the Orion Project to make hydrogen/energy will help to address that need.

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Why is all the above important when considering who to vote for in Shetland’s local May elections?

At Holyrood there is in my opinion a Green tail wagging an incompetent dog, and I would think twice before voting for anyone of that ilk who might slavishly follow the flag and manifesto propaganda of Edinburgh and UK based Green comrades who wish to ban all exploration. That would jeopardise Shetland’s economy.

Voters might consider opting to support independent candidates to form a new administration unattached to dogmas from elsewhere and to promote policies which are much more suitable and attuned to Shetland’s long term interests and supportive of the Orion project and fixed links, and not to allow a green tail to wag a good dog at the town hall.

Meantime I wish all at SIC the best of luck to secure a Shetland tariff for energy supplies, and congratulations to Nova for their Unst and Yell projects.

Cecil Robertson
Inverness

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