A contract for NorthLink Ferries to transport accommodation modules to the site of the new gas plant next to the Sullom Voe Terminal is expected to get under way this weekend.
NorthLink has been contracted to ship over 550 of the modules, which will be usd to build the temporary accommodation for the main construction workforce, from Lerwick.
The Sullom Voe plant, expected to be operational and processing gas from the Laggan and Tormore fields west of Shetland in three years, is expected to provide work for up to 700 construction workers. The modules to be transported will be assembled on site into accommodation blocks and other infrastructure facilities.
NorthLink was awarded the contract by the global Danish logistics operator DSV and managing director Bill Davidson said it represented an early step in the company’s plans to generate additional revenues by expanding its freight business, particularly “project cargoes” such as these oversized building modules or equipment for the growing renewable energy sector.
Mr Davidson said: “We’re committed to increasing revenue streams and thereby reducing the subsidy requirement from the public purse. We plan to do this by looking for commercial possibilities while ensuring we maintain the level of service required by the lifeline ferries contract.
“Shetlanders may already have seen large numbers of trailers arriving at the Holmsgarth terminal which are shrouded in tarpaulin. Each of these contains a module roughly the size of a portable cabin which are then assembled to create the accommodation. Ultimately we will be shipping something like 568 of these to Sullom Voe.
“We will be taking them up to Lerwick from Aberdeen on our freight vessels Hildasay and Hellier and the plan is that at weekends the Hellier will run from Holmsgarth round to Sullom Voe to deliver them to the construction site.”