Lerwick Port Authority

+44 (0) 1595 692991


Lerwick is one of the first ports in the UK to handle significant offshore decommissioning projects.

Lerwick Harbour is building on its role as a leader in decommissioning offshore installations, with a long-term contract underway at Greenhead Base and expanded deep-water infrastructure at Dales Voe.  The port’s strategic location is combined with the ability to accommodate the biggest heavy-lift vessels and rigs and flexibility to handle both large heavy lift and piece small decommissioning operations.

One of the first ports in the UK to handle major offshore industry decommissioning projects, Lerwick’s proximity to oil and gas activities in the northern North Sea and Atlantic, complemented by its deep-water capabilities, mean the harbour is ideally positioned to meet the needs of the industry in the recycling and disposal of large structures.   The port also handles piece small materials, decommissioned cargoes and subsea equipment. 

Lerwick’s reputation in undertaking major decommissioning projects is underpinned by the successful handling of the TCP2 modules support frame (MSF) from Total E&P Norge AS’s Frigg Field by Peterson (UK) Ltd in association with Veolia Environmental Services at Greenhead. At almost 8,800 tonnes, it was one of the biggest single decommissioning lifts yet in the North Sea.  They are currently undertaking a significant five-year, multi-field subsea disposal contract for Hess Ltd and other subsea disposal contracts have been won which maintains the skills and expertise in this area.

A proposed 24-metre deep quay at Dales Voe, Lerwick is currently on hold awaiting future major decommissioning projects in the Northern North Sea to be decided.  

All the harbour’s quays are operated by the Port Authority and are common-user, giving flexibility for all types of marine support.  Both the north and south outer harbour areas have water depths over 50 metres, providing optional locations, depending on weather conditions, for deballasting, mobilisation, lifts and support operations.

Experienced onshore decommissioning contractors and waste management complement the comprehensive facilities. 

Dredging deepened access channels for larger vessels, including construction support vessels and transport barges.  Reclaimed materials were used to create land for new industrial sites and additional laydown areas to support and service future decommissioning projects. 

Read more about decommissioning at Lerwick and the Authority's future development plans from our Bulletins page.  

Lerwick Port Authority is a member of Decom North Sea

Greenhead Base

  • Strengthened quays, with up to 9 metres’ water depth alongside
  • Licensed decommissioning pad (SEPA approved) 
  • Separate heavy lift pad 
  • Controlled discharge areas 
  • Extensive open storage, laydown and warehousing
  • Project support, logistics, engineering and fabrication works from experienced service providers  
  • Quayside waste management with modern landfill site and local disposal routes

Dales Voe

  • Clear approaches to the site in excess of 30 metres’ water depth
  • Sheltered location and anchorages
  • Existing facility to 12.5 metres’ water depth
  • Quay extension to 130 metres  
  • 60 t per m² load bearing quayside  
  • Heavy lift berth immediately adjacent to proposed development site 
  • Laydown expansion to 40,000 m²  
  • Significant quayside open storage
  • Workshop, warehousing and utilities