Sixth accommodation vessel arrives

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A sixth floating accommodation vessel has arrived in Lerwick to house another 400 construction workers at the Shetland Gas Plant.

The Gemini cruise ship has been brought to Shetland by Petrofac and arrived at Dales Voe on Monday after sailing from Tilbury in Essex.

Petrofac, the main contractor on the £800 million Total gas plant, said the extra workers would increase the number to 2,400 working on its construction.

Total community liason officer Rhonda Miller said the gas plant was more than 90 per cent complete and Total was hoping to have the first gas through it this year.

She said since January it was estimated that the gas plant project was bringing in more than £2.5 million per month into the local economy – down to things like paying for the berths for barges, hiring coaches and sourcing food locally.

When the plant is operational there will be about 100 permanent workers at any one time and Ms Milller said they would like to employ local people for permanent posts in future.

The initial hire of the Gemini is for three months and she may be required to move off the berth on occasions to suit other vessel movements.

Lerwick Port Authority said the majority of the other floating accommodation at Lerwick was expected to remain until towards the end of this year.

However, the Regina Baltica at Mair’s Quay will have to leave by the autumn to make way for the planned construction of the new Holmsgarth North jetty.

About £3 million is expected to be contributed to the council once the Total gas plant is finally up and running.

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