The council’s long-delayed twin tugs are finally set to leave the builder’s yard in Spain this weekend. Hired delivery crews from Shetland are in Valencia this week undergoing familiarisation before taking over the Bonxie and Solan for the voyage to Shetland, estimated to take up to two weeks. Two council ports and harbours staff are overseeing the process.
Delays in completing the £14 million fixed-price contract due to a range of technical problems have resulted in the council applying a penalty of just over £500,000 on the Unión Naval Valencia yard. Originally the 40-metre tugs were to be delivered for service at Sullom Voe about nine months ago.
An official naming ceremony involving the schoolchildren who chose the tugs’ names is being planned for sometime in March.
At today’s meeting of the SIC harbour board, head of port operations Roger Moore confirmed that a second tug from the Sella Ness fleet will be put on the market once the two new tugs are in service. The 33-year-old tug Stanechakker was sold to Africa last year.