First new tug expected in March

Work on the two new tugs for Sullom Voe is progressing well and the vessels will be delivered on time and on budget, a meeting of the harbour board heard today.

The first of the replacement tugs is due in March 2010, and although this is a month later than originally expected, SIC ports and harbours manager Roger Moore said it was still within the terms of the contract. The second tug has been subject to delays to the propeller units but will still arrive shortly after the first.

Work on the £13.3 million tug replacement project started early this year at a Spanish yard. The contract stipulated the price was in pounds sterling and was fixed, Capt Moore said.

Meanwhile the port is pressing ahead with its intention to attract ship-to-ship transfers, with meet–ings with key operators will take place within the next few months. Jetty four is now operational again and a ship could tie up there if necessary.

Work is also progressing to secure work in connection to the proposed Total gas plant. Capt Moore said some of the contractors would need to use piers and harbour trust land to bring in pipes and modules for the work, and Sullom Voe would seem to be the ideal location.

The meeting also discussed the value of being part of the Shetland stand at the recent Offshore Europe exhibition, the major oil and gas exhibition in Europe.

Although some thought ports and harbours should “fly the flag”, others considered the £4,000 it had cost would be better spent on doing a tour of businesses in Aberdeen.


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