Monday 4 March 2024
 6.7°C   SSE Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Shetland could lose out big time yet again

Recent articles in the media refer to “Scottish Water looking to build new Eela Water works” – to improve the capacity for growth etc. Surely all very beneficial, including increased supply to SVT/SGP/others.

New Eela Water treatment works in the pipeline – with early costs estimated at £45m

Statkraft signed a deal recently with Aker (both Norwegian) to produce ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen at Narvik, Norway for export which leads to the thought, why not produce ammonia in Shetland for export provided that Shetland would benefit from it substantially.

However, would that extra volume of water from Eela facilitate production of ammonia at Sullom? Eighteen tonnes of water is needed to produce one tonne of ammonia.

Could Eela satisfy that demand – or would a saltwater desalination membrane system have to be introduced?

Shetland expects to have an electricity surplus from its onshore turbines (over and above the capacity of the interconnector to Scotland) to which might be added future capacity from east of Bressay, for ammonia/other or hydrogen (blending?) production.

The result – a manufacturing plant at Sullom, unlike the present SVT/SGP processing plants whose lease agreements and rates contribute a minimum towards the SIC coffers and Shetland’s budgets.

Manufacturing plants however will/should/would contribute much more towards the operators’ commercial profits and Shetland should share in those benefits, as locals do in Norway.

Aker has expressed an interest in the area north of Unst to install numerous floating wind turbines, ostensibly to supply electricity to Sullom for more manufacturing (ammonia? a repeat of the Narvik operation? who benefits? Shetland?)

However, ammonia is toxic. A more acceptable alternative could be green methanol, liquid at atmospheric pressure, derived from hydrogen and carbon dioxide, but with shipping, export and shoreside infrastructure much less onerous.

The SIC, its management, officials, and councillors might care to take that into account when lease terms – including those for the Statkraft developments – are being negotiated/renegotiated.

Did councillors take back control of the carte blanche they had previously granted to its representatives in Orion? If not, why not?

In short – Shetland could lose out big time yet again, only to the benefit of Holyrood, Westminster, or Sullom operators, and indeed ‘friendly’ neighbours in/from Norway, if the SIC/councillors are not on the ball to prevent that.

Perhaps if Shetland had still been connected to Norway these past 500 years – a more beneficial and appropriate regime would result.

Obviously, autonomy (Crown Dependency) would give Shetland extensive bargaining power in regard to all the above, but in the meantime taking back even a semblance of control would be a step in the right direction.

Shetland – its representatives and media – might care to delve deeper, to inform its public as to what is proposed looking forward from Eela and any other proposed developments to secure Shetland and its population a prosperous and expanding future by following the path of its successful autonomous Faroese neighbours.

Cecil Robertson
Inverness

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.