Lerwick Port Authority is strongly positioned for the future, backed by an updated Strategy & Business Plan which includes further development of facilities and services.
The Authority’s principal aims in the current two-year period are outlined in a mission statement, strategic objectives and plans covering the main areas of the harbour’s operation and management.
Chairman, Brian Anderson, comments: “Fluctuations in our marketplace, due to external factors, reinforce the requirement for the Authority to be proactive and committed in ensuring the harbour’s future through a clear strategy meeting the changing needs of the maritime industry and Shetland.
“This is given added importance by the fact that, while the longer-term forecast for future traffic and income is good, slower growth is being predicted for 2009 because of specific circumstances in several sectors.”
These include no major offshore decommissioning projects scheduled for 2009 and the continuing limitation in availability of some pelagic and industrial fish.
“The Authority’s recent performance, along with the activities of the many port users, means that we are strongly positioned to move forward,” Mr Anderson states.
The positive outlook follows completion of a major dredging and reclamation project this year; decommissioning of the largest offshore structure yet at Lerwick; resurgence in white fish landings and growth in offshore traffic, and a very satisfactory operational performance which saw an exceptional financial return for the Authority in 2007.
As a Trust Port, all profits are reinvested in the maintenance and development of the harbour.
Mr Anderson notes: “Through efficient operations, infrastructure development, investment and marketing, and working closely with third parties, we will continue to lay the groundwork for the challenges ahead.
“The scale of the capital programme means it will take several years to be fully delivered, while projects in planning also contribute to this significant time in the successful evolution of the port.”
With over £60 million invested in the port over the years, the Authority is now setting a budget for borrowing to fund its capital programme.
Recent and current projects include the £12 million dredging and reclamation scheme, now complete; a programme of quay developments; a “welcome ashore” facility; amenity improvements; and a fish market extension, which is nearing completion, and, in the longer term, a new fish market.
Amongst planned future developments are improvements to the roll-on/roll-off vessel infrastructure, deep-water decommissioning berths, a town centre deep-water berth, redevelopment in the area of Gremista Quay, and replacement of a tug.
In line with its policy of being open and accountable, the Authority’s Strategy & Business Plan for 2008-2009 is available on its website, and copies are distributed to a wide range of relevant parties.