First of troublesome tug duo is sold to Italy

One of the two Shetland Islands Council tugs at Sullom Voe which proved so controversial after being introduced a few years has now been sold.

The Solan will shortly head off to Italy after being bought by Venice-based towage company Panfido. It is understood that she is to be used in the port of Naples.

According to the SIC the company was also moving ahead on purchasing the sister vessel Bonxie, which is expected to leave Shetland in February.

The council was not willing to disclose the purchase price of the two vessels due to “commercial sensitivities”. But apparently the authority’s shipbrokers had confirmed that, in their professional opinion, the agreement represented an “above-market valuation” of the tugs.

SIC harbour board chairwoman Andrea Manson said: “I’m extremely pleased that we have reached agreement on the sale of the Solan and Bonxie.

“They were commissioned at a time when business at the port was very different, and they have posed problems for us in the past.

“I’m satisfied that we have managed to secure the best possible return for these two vessels, especially given the downturn we are currently witnessing in the oil and gas industry.”

Infrastructure services director Maggie Sandison added: “The life extension to the port of Sullom Voe means we need to review future infrastructure requirements to support the oil industry’s anticipated business going forward.

“The council is also considering the most appropriate future operational model for the port’s activities in response to this changed business environment.”


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