The £1.2 million facility belongs to SBS Logistics and is situated at the Greenhead base in Lerwick Harbour. It will be pivotal to the implementation of the £250 million decommissioning contract won by Aker Kvaerner in partnership with the company and VES.
Aker Kvaerner director Kare Kristing, Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Allan Wishart, Murdo MacIver and VES deputy chief executive John Kutner at the opening
Up to 20,000 tonnes of steel and other materials from Totals Frigg offshore platforms will now be shipped to the site for dismantling and disposal over the next three years.
VES chief executive for the UK and Northern Europe Cyrille du Peloux said: We are delighted to be involved in this major decommissioning project and believe the opening of the new facility marks the start of an important new industry sector in the Shetlands.
Our responsibilities include managing and operating the new site and our environmental expertise will be vital in providing specialist waste separation and processing services with a target 98% recycling/recovery rate.
VES will operate the site under a Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Pollution Prevention and Control permit, reinforcing the Shetlands involvement in the lifecycle of the oil and gas industry which commenced in the 1960s.
SBS Logistics commercial director Murdo MacIver said: An estimated 40% of the 500 or so existing offshore North Sea oil and gas installations will be considered for decommissioning or abandonment in the next 10 to 20 years.
This presents a fantastic opportunity for SBS and our partners, as well as for Shetland, as we are now geared up to meet the challenge of removing and deconstructing the wide variety of structures in the North Sea.
More than 50 representatives from the oil and gas industry, Shetland Islands Council, the Department of Trade and Industry and local businesses attended the opening ceremony.