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

Lerwick Harbour is building on its role as a leader in decommissioning offshore installations, with two key facilities at Greenhead Base and recently expanded deep-water infrastructure at Dales Voe.  The port’s strategic location is combined with the ability to accommodate the biggest heavy-lift vessels and rigs and flexibility to handle both large heavy lift and piece small decommissioning operations.

Lerwick’s proximity to oil and gas activities in the northern North Sea and Atlantic, complemented by its deep-water capabilities, mean the harbour is ideally positioned to meet the needs of the industry in the recycling and disposal of large structures.   The port also handles piece small materials, decommissioned cargoes and subsea equipment.

In September 2018, Dales Voe was identified in a nation-wide feasibility study as the optimal location for the UK’s ultra deep-water decommissioning facility – Read More. Dales Voe at Lerwick, with its naturally deep water in the voe, is an ideal location for an ultra-deep quay to allow Semi-Submersible Crane Vessels an alongside UK port solution for offshore operations including decommissioning.

Lerwick’s reputation in undertaking major decommissioning projects is underpinned by the successful handling of the 8,000 tonne TCP2 modules support frame (MSF) from Total E&P Norge AS’s Frigg Field by partners Peterson (UK) Ltd and Veolia Environmental Services at Greenhead.

Peterson/Veolio are currently undertaking the biggest decommissioning contract at Lerwick Harbour yet at Dales Voe to dismantle a former floating production unit from the Buchan Field. Around 12,000 tonnes of materials will be recovered through the project which is expected to complete in 2019. Other subsea disposal contracts are ongoing at Greenhead which maintains the skills and expertise in this area.

All the harbour’s quays are operated by the Port Authority and are common-user, giving flexibility for all types of marine support.  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.

Experienced onshore decommissioning contractors and waste management complement the comprehensive facilities.

Dredging deepened access channels for larger vessels, including construction support vessels and transport barges.  Reclaimed materials were used to create land for new industrial sites and additional laydown areas to support and service future decommissioning projects.

Read more about decommissioning at Lerwick and the Authority’s future development plans from our Bulletins page.

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