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Business / Floatel headed to Lerwick next year to house wind farm workers

An old photo of the Bibby Stockholm barge in Lerwick in 2015.

AN ACCOMMODATION barge is set to take up residence in Lerwick next year to house Viking Energy workers.

A spokesperson for developer SSE Renewables confirmed to Shetland News that it would be used for staff installing the wind turbines.

Accommodation barges are no strangers to Shetland, with a number used for example during the construction of the gas plant in the 2010s.

The ‘floatel’ will be used to house staff working for Vestas, the company supplying the wind farm’s turbines.

They are due to start being installed next year on the 103-turbine site.

A spokesperson for SSE Renewables said: “In early 2023, Vestas wind turbine components are due to arrive as part of the construction of Viking Energy Wind Farm.

“Vestas workforce will begin mobilising to site around the end of January and early February and will initially have around 100 staff and contractors arriving.

“From March onwards, when wind turbine erection is expected to start, Vestas staff numbers will increase to around 220.

“Vestas plan to accommodate around 90 per cent of the workforce on an accommodation barge that will be brought in and moored in Lerwick, and have an agreement in place with the Lerwick Port Authority regarding mooring and vehicle parking.

“The use of a ‘floatel’ will help allow available private rented accommodation to meet tourist demand.”

A spokesperson for Lerwick Port Authority said: “We have the facilities to provide support for an accommodation unit for developers’ requirements, as demonstrated in the past, so will be keen to assist where required.”

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