The unusual cargo is a subsea oil storage facility belonging to Premier Oil and is expected to be in the harbour for about a week while repair work is carried out. Once the work is completed it will be shipped to the Solan field about 90 kilometres west of Shetland.
The subsea tank has 64 compartments and will spend the next 30 years under about 130m of seawater where it will be a temporary repository for the estimated 42 million barrels of oil in the field. Oil is expected to start flowing from Solan in the last quarter of this year.
Designed in London and built in Dubai, the tank was carried by Xiang Yun Kou – a giant semi-submersible ship before being towed into Lerwick.
The project will involve “20 to 25 people” from Peterson SBS who will provide support services and plant on a 24-hour basis while the box is in town.
This time lapse video, posted on YouTube by Shetland Film shows the Xiang Yun Kou arriving in Lerwick.
The news that the storage box was being brought to Lerwick was revealed earlier this year.