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Business / Dales Voe quayside expansion mooted as demand expected to grow

The barge Iron Lady with the Ninian Northern jacket alongside the deepwater quay at Dales Voe. Photo: Lerwick Port Authority

PLANS are afoot to expand the Dales Voe base in Lerwick ahead of anticipated growth in decommissioning and offshore renewables.

Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) said in a planning statement that there is an expectation of more large decommissioning projects coming to Shetland over the next few years, and that expansion of facilities is “crucial”.

It added that “some of the decommissioning projects that are being planned are on a larger scale than what has been carried out previously”.

Allied to this is the expected construction of offshore wind farms in the waters around Shetland, with LPA in line to support the installation, operation and maintenance of developments.

In a letter to the planning service, LPA chief executive Calum Grains said project areas at the nearby Greenhead Base are to be used for a number of upcoming offshore projects, with the potential to become congested.

The plan is to enlarge the storage and laydown area at Dales Voe, which has been used in recent years for decommissioning defunct offshore installations like the Ninian Northern platform.

Commenting on the project LPA chief executive Captain Calum Grains said: “Dales Voe quayside has unmatched strength in the UK.

“The expansion of laydown is a logical step in increasing decommissioning capability and potential future renewable support.”

It is hoped the onshore project will begin next year.

The proposed extension comes in addition to an enlargement of the site approved in 2014 which is still underway.

There are also plans to turn Dales Voe in an ‘ultra-deep’ water facility to allow larger decommissioning projects, with the Scottish Government pledging £9 million towards its construction.

If this comes to fruition it would be the UK’s only ultra-deep water quay.

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