Port charges unaffected by new infrastructure developments.

The first section of a new £16.5 million jetty for the fishing and offshore industries has been handed over to Lerwick Port Authority by contractor, Tulloch Developments Ltd.

The early completion of the 110-metre section at Holmsgarth North clears the way for the demolition of the nearby former Shell jetty which has been used by fishing vessels for layby. These and other vessels will instead be able to use the new section prior to the overall project completion in the autumn.

Temporary lighting will now be erected and Port Authority staff will install a bespoke fendering system.

Holmsgarth North is one of several current developments, totalling around £30 million, for completion in a year which has seen a rise of just 1% in port charges. Over the years, Lerwick’s charges have risen in line with inflation, with no additional increases sought to fund developments.

Sandra Laurenson, Port Authority Chief Executive, said: “We recognise the importance of costs to harbour users, particularly in difficult market conditions, and our aim is to fund investments from our ongoing business model of normal annual inflation.”

The Holmsgarth North project and a quay extension at Dales Voe for the offshore industry are both backed by Bank of Scotland funding, with the latter also supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The completed 800-metre-plus, L-shaped Holmsgarth North jetty will provide deeper berthing – ultimately 10 metres – and more working area for the fishing fleet, while the outer arm will create a dock sheltering a planned new white fish market. The outer arm will also be suitable for berthing offshore industry vessels and cruise ships.

Deep-water facilities at Dales Voe are being expanded in support of offshore industry subsea developments and decommissioning, with the 12.5-metres deep quay being extended 75-metres to 130-metres. It will have a load-bearing capacity of 60 tonnes per square metre, unmatched in Scotland, and will be complete later this year.

Sandra Laurenson added: “By expanding our capacity and ensuring our competitiveness, we are underpinning Lerwick’s advantages – natural and developed – as a location supporting the fishing and offshore industries in the surrounding waters of the northern North Sea and Atlantic.”

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