One of Aberdeen’s most distinctive buildings could soon be demolished.
The huge former Shell (LON: SHEL) HQ in Altens, which was once hailed as the energy giant’s “nerve centre”, had been the home of hundreds of oil and gas workers for more than 40 years.
When it was built, it was hailed as a symbol of the north-east’s booming fortunes.
But, citing its outdated condition, the company decided to relocate from the 1970s building in 2021.
And Shell has now revealed plans to demolish the triangular five-storey block following their move to the Silver Fin complex on Union Street.
Shell now occupies six floors at the Silver Fin building on Union Street, which also hosts North Sea oil and gas rival Harbour Energy.
Why does Shell want to demolish the building?
The main reason for the decision is the huge size of the well-known site, which makes it hard to sell and repurpose.
Documents state it is “unlikely” that a new operator will take on a building of this size, age and state, and put it to good use.
They add: “Shell is proposing to demolish the buildings as their age, construction and floor plates do not lend themselves to an efficient or sustainable future use.
“The buildings are predominantly vacant and have been stripped of furnishings.
“There were no credible opportunities to reuse the buildings in their current form given their size.”
Why is this complex so important?
The distinctive building has been a familiar landmark for those driving through Aberdeen’s East Tullos Industrial Estate since 1979.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened the Shell complex in September that year, as the oil industry began to boom in the Granite City.
It was said an operation of this scale will “make Aberdeen the centre of the North Sea industry”.
What will happen to the building now?
The energy giant aims to demolish all of the buildings across the 30-acre site, a process which could take about a year.
Shell has hailed the move as an opportunity for possible new development in the area.
Bosses also reckon 90% of the material from the demolition can be reused or recycled.
The company said they are currently “exploring” other options on what can be done with the empty space, however, there is nothing set in stone at this time.
Documents add: “Following demolition there would remain a brownfield opportunity site suitable for redevelopment.
“The applicant is exploring alternative future uses of the site however, at this stage, there are no future proposals to consider post demolition.”