16th July 2018
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Diversification is key to continued success, says Lerwick Port Authority

The Holmsgarth area of Lerwick Harbour includes the L-shaped, £16.5 million Mair’s Pier, servicing the fishing, offshore and cruise industries, and officially opened earlier this month.

Lerwick Harbour’s “fortunate position” of having a diversified customer base has stood the port well during the downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry, according to the Lerwick Port Authority annual review.

Outgoing authority chairman Brian Anderson also noted that, while the continuing low oil price has been reflected in the harbour’s traffic, other sectors, such as leisure and passengers, had seen growth.

With fishing and aquaculture a mainstay of activity in Shetland, healthy fish stocks and high prices for white fish and pelagic species led to re-investment in the catching sector, although onshore processing had not fared so well.

The new-style annual review covers a year “when the authority has delivered a continued good financial performance and new quay projects were completed, enhancing economic activity in Shetland”.

The Holmsgarth North development, now renamed Mair’s Pier, and the extended quay at the deep-water Dales Voe base have been well received by the fishing, offshore and cruise industries.

Mr Anderson added: “These projects are the platform for further investments by the authority and others. Dales Voe can deliver a UK solution for the largest offshore decommissioning projects and Holmsgarth is the new hub of white fish activity at the port, with a new fish market set to be built.”

New chairman Ronnie Gair, who was appointed to replace Mr Anderson last week, said: “I echo Brian Anderson’s positive outlook and look forward with confidence to future activity by the authority and port users as we continue to maximise opportunities.”

Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson stated in the review: “There is no end to the ambition of the authority to build new infrastructure, with at least three different deep-water projects on the drawing board. However, a pragmatic approach is a defining feature to prioritising delivery.”

The review includes an update on the authority’s objectivities and targets, activities, community involvement, statistics and financial analysis, and capital projects for 2017.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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