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

Deep-water Lerwick Harbour is a leading centre for the decommissioning and disposal of offshore structures from the oil & gas industry. Completion of recent capital developments, has created a modern port, meeting the sector’s changing requirements, with a unique combination of infrastructure, experience and location.

Lerwick Harbour has two fully licensed quayside decommissioning facilities. Its strategic location in the North Sea, with natural deep-water, creates solutions for large scale decommissioning projects to remain in the UK sector.

Recent accomplishments include the successful delivery and load-in of the Ninian Northern topside at Dales Voe in August 2020 by Allseas. It is the largest decommissioning project to date, weighing in at 14,200 tonnes of materials to be recovered.

The Authority is progressing plans for an Ultra-Deep Water Quay at Dales Voe which will facilitate direct offload from Semi-Submersible Crane Vessels, and further enhance the UK’s competitiveness against overseas yards. In September 2018, Dales Voe was identified in a Government-commissioned, nation-wide feasibility study as the optimal location for the UK’s Ultra-Deep-Water decommissioning facility.


Its strategic location is combined with the ability to accommodate the biggest heavy-lift vessels, including single-lift operations, and rigs, along with the flexibility to process large and piece small decommissioning projects, subsea equipment and associated cargoes.

Experienced onshore decommissioning contractors and waste management services complement the comprehensive facilities. The well-established Shetland supply chain provides project support, logistics, engineering, fabrication and waste management and includes the partnership of international contractors Peterson - with origins including in Shetland - and Veolia Environment Services.

Quayside waste management at both the Dales Voe and Greenhead decommissioning facilities are complemented by a modern landfill site and local disposal routes nearby.

All quays are operated by the Port Authority and are common-user, giving flexibility for all types of marine support at the 24-hour, all weather-port. 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.

Track Record

The record includes projects from fields in the northern, central and southern North Sea and west of Shetland. Lerwick’s reputation in undertaking major decommissioning projects was established by the successful handling of the 8,000 tonne TCP2 modules support frame from Total E&P Norge AS’s Frigg Field by partners Peterson (UK) Ltd and Veolia Environmental Services at Greenhead Base.

Other examples of the port’s track-record in decommissioning also include:

We are a member of:

Decom North Sea is a multi-region membership organisation which connects supply chain capability with opportunity across the oil and gas decommissioning sector.

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Captain Calum A S Grains, M.N.I.

Captain Calum A S Grains, M.N.I.

Chief Executive


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