Lerwick Port Authority is continuing its long-established, proactive strategy of planning ahead to meet future requirements of port users, particularly the energy sector, which includes oil & gas, decommissioning, and renewables, for windfarm developments offshore and onshore.

In 2018, the port’s Dales Voe was identified in an independent study for the Scottish Government as the optimal location in the UK for an Ultra-Deep-Water Quay (UDWQ) for decommissioning larger oil and gas production platforms.

It is now also recognised as a key site for supporting the assembly and deployment of large-scale floating structures for offshore windfarms.

The UDWQ project, estimated to cost £34 million, is being led by the Port Authority. Design and funding, in consultation with third parties, is progressing. The Scottish Government will contribute £9 million under the UK/Scottish Government’s Islands Growth Deal.

The project will build on Lerwick’s decades of experience which has made it a leading centre of support for the offshore oil & gas industry and a front-runner in decommissioning. It has the potential to transform the roles of the port and Shetland and develop the UK supply chain.

The quay will maximise the natural advantages of the deep-water, sheltered voe and its proximity to oil and gas fields and future windfarms, expanding the facilities at the existing Dales Voe Base and enhancing the UK’s ability to compete in international markets.

It will be the only ultra-deep-water quay in the UK, with Lerwick the only UK port with alongside water depth to accommodate the world’s largest crane vessels.

The 100-metre quay will have an initial water depth of 21 metres alongside, with an option to dredge further to 24-25 metres to expand the market opportunities in the future. The specialised infrastructure will include additional laydown.

The UDWQ supports the ambitions of the ORION project – to transform Shetland into a world-leading green energy island.

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