Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart has called on the UK and Scottish governments to make Lerwick a centre for oil and gas decommissioning.
The SNP list member said the town should be at the heart of an estimated £30 billion industry and government investment would bring jobs and boost the area’s economy.
Ms Urquhart said: “Since oil was first discovered Shetlanders have been at the forefront of the oil and gas industry and are best placed to benefit from this £30 billion industry.
“Lerwick Port Authority clearly see this as a natural and progressive business development and it is right, I believe, that both the Scottish and UK governments offer financial support.
“Investment in Lerwick Harbour can and will deliver benefits to communities across Scotland not least here in Shetland. The UK government has benefited over the years from billions of pounds in revenues from the oil and gas reserves around our shores. It is right that some of those resources should be re-invested to ensure that Shetland is a decommissioning hub.”
Danus Skene, the SNP candidate for Lerwick North in next month’s SIC elections, added: “Lerwick’s strategic location close to the northern oil fields, the existing skills and the infrastructure in terms of facilities means that we are well placed to become a hub for decommissioning work.
“Harnessing our experience in decommissioning means we can deal responsibly with our oil and gas legacy as well as build experience and expertise that can benefit other oil producing nations elsewhere in the world.”