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Also in the news / Cruise activity, Rosebank update, opera shows and more…

Photo: John Waters

THIS year’s cruise ship season is in full swing with two arrivals into Lerwick Harbour today (Friday).

First to arrive this morning was the 294 metre Island Princess, which can carry more than 2,200 passengers when at full capacity.

Shortly afterwards, at 7.30am, the Bahamas registered 237m cruise ship Bolette arrived. 

Both vessels are at anchor – Island Princess off Victoria Pier, and Bolette at the Bight of Ham.

WORK to develop the large Rosebank oil and gas field could get under way in 2024 should an investment decision be made by its owners Equinor (operator), Ithaca Energy and Suncor.

An environment impact statement has now been submitted by Equinor which includes a timeline suggesting first oil in the last quarter of 2026.

The field to the northwest of Shetland, discovered in 2004, has been estimated to hold around 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Oil will be exported via a floating storage production and offloading vessel (FSPO) while gas will be fed into the West of Shetland pipeline system which connects to Sullom Voe Terminal.

Equinor is reported to estimate the capital investment to develop Rosebank at £4.3 billion.

Meanwhile energy transition campaigners Uplift pointed out that should the plans to develop Rosebank be approved Equinor would be paying up to £834 million less in windfall tax.

LOCAL MP Alistair Carmichael has warned that the government must “get back to the real world” with its economic policy after the Bank of England announced that it expects the UK to be in recession by the end of the year, with inflation peaking at around 13 per cent.

The bank projects that the recession will be the longest downturn since the 2008 financial crash, driven to a significant extent by rising fuel prices – with the energy price cap expected to sit around £3,500.

The economy is forecast to shrink in the last three months of this year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.

In order to combat inflation the Bank has raised interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent, with an impact on costs to borrowers.

Carmichael said: “We have known for months that serious economic headwinds were coming and were likely to cause turbulence for some time to come.

“The announcement by the Bank of England, however, should be a reality check for complacent Conservative leaders who seem to prefer fantasy land economics. Ministers need to get back to the real world and treat this like the emergency it is.”

SCOTTISH Opera will come for two shows in Shetland in early October.

To mark the company’s 60th anniversary, the popular Opera Highlights show is being taken to 17 venues across the country.

The playlist includes much-loved classics from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro,  Beethoven’s Fidelio, Verdi’s Macbeth and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers Duet.

Director Emma Jenkins said: “The overriding theme of the Opera Highlights is love. Love in all its forms, both positive and negative.”

Opera Highlights will be hosted in the Cullivoe hall in Yell on 4 October and in Mareel the following night.

THE BBC is seeking nominations for unsung heroes for its Scotland’s People 2022 TV show.

Over the past two years, presenter Jackie Bird has travelled Scotland meeting many of the nation’s unsung heroes and hearing many of their inspiring stories.

She now needs the public’s help to get people nominated for Scotland’s People 2022. This can be done on this BBC Scotland webpage.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We can’t wait for you to tell us your inspiring stories, and hear about all the remarkable people who’ve gone above and beyond in your lives.”