The Port of Lerwick in the UK says concepts have been drawn up for deep water port infrastructure capable of accommodating the largest heavy lift vessels.
The Port of Lerwick in the UK says concepts have been drawn up for deep water port infrastructure capable of accommodating the largest heavy lift vessels. The plans include 20m deep berths adjacent to the established Dales Voe facility or alternatively next to North Greenhead, where over 10 acres of land has been reclaimed as part of the port"s recent major dredging project.
Sandra Laurenson, the Port Authority"s chief executive said, "We recognise the need to plan ahead and meet the industry"s upcoming requirements. Lerwick is one of the few UK ports which can offer this deep water capability which would be a significant facility in close proximity to so many offshore oil and gas fields.
"The conceptual plans highlight the tremendous potential of Lerwick to the industry and will help identify its exact requirements. While substantial investment would be required, it would be only a very small percentage of the cost of decommissioning a field in the UK sector and therefore represent good value for all."
With Lerwick already established as one of the principal deep water harbours in the northern North Sea, a primary aim of the Port Authority"s £12m dredging and land reclamation project was to keep pace with the increasing size of vessels now operating in the offshore industry.
As well as significantly deepening and widening the north channel, the north entrance and the basin at Greenhead Base were widened and there is also now a minimum of 9m water depth from north to south through the twin entrance harbour.
An area south of Greenhead Base was dredged in 2008 to provide 9m water depth for two new berths. Construction of the berths is due to start in 2010 and will provide an additional 180m of quays, increasing the berthing capacity at Greenhead by a third. A heavy lift pad, capable of handling a 1,000 ton lift, has been designed into the proposed quay structure.