Orkney MSP Liam McArthur used First Ministers Questions today to press the First Minister to ensure the planned Strategic Action Plan on oil and gas decommissioning facilities fully reflects the potential of island bases, including Lyness in Orkney.
Earlier this week the First Minister announced in her Legislative Programme for Government that Scottish Enterprise is developing a comprehensive decommissioning action plan to “inform the range of actions and the necessary investments in capacity and infrastructure.”
Following news that Birmingham-based company, DSM demolition has unveiled proposals to create a facility in Orkney to decommission redundant oil and gas rigs, Mr McArthur called on the First Minister to give assurances that plans by Scottish Enterprise will “fully reflect the skills, resources and opportunities” at sites in the islands, including Lyness.
Responding, the First Minister said she was “delighted to give those assurances.” The First Minister confirmed she would arrange a meeting between the Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, relevant officials and Liam McArthur to ensure options at Lyness are explored.
Commenting after the exchanges, Mr McArthur said:
“The deep natural harbour of Scapa Flow, its proximity to the North Sea and the skills available locally make this Lyness a potentially ideal location to help take advantage of the jobs and wealth creation opportunities from this growing sector. A lot of work still needs to be done to assess the suitability of this site and ensure the appropriate safeguards can be taken.
“I am grateful, however, to the First Minister for her assurances this afternoon that Scottish Enterprise’s Strategic Action Plan on oil and gas decommissioning will fully reflect the opportunity for decommissioning facilities in our islands, including at Lyness. I look forward to meeting the head of Scottish Enterprise soon to discuss this further.”