Positive trends reversed by Covid-19 this year
The latest Annual Review from Lerwick Port Authority notes that ”the strong position of having a diverse customer base from different sectors operating to-and-from the port…again paid dividends” in 2019.
Chairman, Ronnie Gair, points to steady landings of whitefish, ongoing decommissioning projects and continued growth in the cruise sector.
He also highlights continuing investment maintaining and developing Lerwick’s position at the centre of the growing decommissioning industry and the significant benefits, including doubled capacity, to come from the construction of a replacement whitefish market – opened in August, 2020.
Chief Executive, Captain Calum Grains, comments in his report that the fishmarket investment “underpins our strategy to be at the forefront of the fishing industry, offering state-of-the-art facilities.” He also acknowledges a recovery in oil & gas activity and a record number of cruise ships visiting.
Both Chairman and Chief Executive note the impact of Covid-19 in 2020. Commenting on the issue of the Review, Mr Gair, said; "There were good reasons in 2019 to believe the positive performance would continue into this year, but the pandemic and the downturn in oil prices have thrown activity into reverse, with serious consequences for harbour traffic and Shetland. We continue to make every effort to minimise effects and recover in the longer term.”
The Review includes a mid-2020 update on the local impact of the pandemic.