Shetland port hit by oil slump

Shetland news
Shetland news

The oil and gas slump has taken a toll on Shetland’s main commercial port in the first half of 2016 although a record cruising season means Lerwick Harbour’s ship has still come in.

The latest traffic statistics for Lerwick Harbour show mixed fortunes across the sectors using Shetland’s main commercial port in the first half of 2016, including a significant increase in cruise traffic and higher fish landings, but a predicted fall in offshore-related activity which was also reflected in less cargo handled.

Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority chief executive, said: “The performance was in line with our projections, given the market conditions for the various, often international, industries served by the port.

“The cruise industry is proving to be the highlight of the year, with the promise of a record-breaking season and more to come in 2017.

“However, the oil and gas industry statistics are a stark reminder that it is not just north-east Scotland which is hit by the severe downturn in operations which has also impacted on Shetland and elsewhere.

“Our expectation is that, with the close-out of some subsea projects this year, 2017 will possibly be even quieter for us for oil and gas traffic.” Vessel arrivals were down 2% to 2,326 in the six months to June.