March 27 - Lerwick Harbour, Shetland Islands, Scotland reports a busy start to 2013.

The port has seen demand grow as subsea installation work at the Laggan-Tormore oil fields, west of Shetland, gathers pace; and construction of the Shetland Gas Plant next to the Sullom Voe oil terminal develops.

The Shetland Gas plant is a venture undertaken by Total E&P UK and its partner Dong E&P (UK).  

Heavy lift vessels have delivered gas plant modules to Holmsgarth. From there, heavy lift specialist Mammoet will barge the modules to the Sullom Voe oil terminal over the course of the next 10 months.

Earlier this month, modules from Northern Ireland were delivered to Lerwick onboard Arklow Moor for discharge at Dales Voe and onward road haulage to Brae. The modules will forem part of a new 100-bedroom hotel under construction in the area. When completed, the new facility will be partly occupied by workers at the new Shetland Gas Plant.

Lerwick Harbour has also provided marine support to Subsea7 vessels installing underwater infrastructure for the Kaggan-Tomore oil field.

The port authority says that its extensive laydown areas, deep water quays and anchorages has made its an appealing location for the contractors operating in the region.

Lerwick Port Authority harbourmaster, Captain Calum Grains, commented:  "Around 40 years after the harbour first supported field developments in the northern North Sea, not only is it still servicing new projects, including Total's, but can also still look forward to making an ongoing, long-term contribution in a buoyant industry."

Lerwick Harbour has also committed to a 75 m deep water quay extension at Greenhead, which will be finished during 2013. The original 100 m quay at Greenhead was brought into use during March 2012 to support offshore projects.