Six months on, council vows to sort out Sullom Voe tugs

The council has vowed to banish the technical problems which have troubled the new Sullom Voe tugs since their delayed delivery to the isles last year.

The Solan and Bonxie, which cost the council £14 million, have been out of action because of severe steering and stability problems.  

In one incident last winter, the Solan lost power and was struck by the oil tanker Loch Rannoch in the middle of a towing operation.

This morning’s harbour board met in private to discuss a report on the Spanish-built vessels, which have now been tied up for over six months.

In a statement after the meeting, head of infrastructure Phil Crossland insisted the SIC would take appropriate “technical and professional” advice to help solve the issues.

A review of the project will also be carried out, involving crews and staff from Sella Ness.

Mr Crossland refused to give a timescale for the review, adding the immediate priority was to fix the technical glitches that have troubled the vessels.

He said: “The report was an up-date on the directional stability issue we have with the vessels.

“We are taking technical and professional advice to resolve the situation and get the tugs back in service as soon as possible.

“The board recognised we need to do a review of the project at the appropriate time, but the priority at the moment is to solve the problem.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Crawford

    • July 21st, 2012 13:43

    I see that council is now going to charter in the Orkney Council Tug ‘Harrald’ to provide cover at Sullom in the next few weeks at a cost of £4500 a day.
    Well done yet again SIC !!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.