Lerwick Harbour is to be a home-from-home for construction workers over the next two months following the expected arrival of a 'coastel' in the Shetland port on Saturday evening (29 May).

The floating accommodation vessel, Bibby Challenge, will be berthed at Holmsgarth for at least eight weeks to provide quarters for workers employed at the BP operated Sullom Voe Terminal.

Under tow from Gothenburg, Sweden, the 11,897 gross tonne coastel is operated by Bibby Maritime, part of Bibby Line Group.

Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority’s Chief Executive, said: “Providing berthing and services for the vessel is another example of the harbour’s diverse role in support of the oil and gas industry’s activities, onshore and offshore.

“The requirement for living quarters for workers over a lengthy period coincides not only with the peak visitor period in Shetland, but also with several other projects in the islands for which workers have to be housed which means accommodation is scarce. The capacity of the port and its extensive quays makes it possible to accept the Bibby Challenge in addition to the port’s regular traffic and seasonal cruise ships.”

Shore services to be provided to the Bibby Challenge include power, water, sewerage and telephones.

The port was used previously by the Bibby Bergen accommodation vessel which berthed at Holmsgarth in 2001 to support work at Sullom Voe.

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