Supporting the vision of oil to future energy at Sullom Voe

Sullom Voe 1

NIRAS is proud to have been awarded an up-to 8 year marine engineering consultancy contract with Shetland Islands Council (SIC) for the development and ongoing maintenance of Sullom Voe Oil Terminal (SVT) at the Port of Sullom Voe.

June 6, 2024
  • SECTORS: Ports & Marine
  • COUNTRIES: United Kingdom
  • CLIENT: Shetland Islands Council

The extended contract was awarded after a successful 50 year partnership that has seen the Port grow to become a vital component in the energy infrastructure of the North Sea and huge contributor to Shetland and the United Kingdom economy.

“NIRAS is proud to be an integral part of Shetland Islands Council’s vision for supporting the terminal’s life extension, new energy and decarbonisation plans. Our experts are at the forefront of marine structural engineering, environmental and green energy consultancy and are dedicated to supporting the continued vitality of SVT,” commented Andrew Walker, Framework Director for NIRAS.

The contract includes ongoing maintenance, life extension, environmental and green energy consultancy and NIRAS has a local site office to provide year round technical assistance and management, supported by a dedicated team of 200+ maritime industry experts.

Maritime Engineering Excellence

NIRAS' long standing involvement with Sullom Voe Terminal demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence, sustainable solutions, and the continued prosperity of Shetland's maritime legacy. From detailed visual inspections to large-scale maintenance operations and capital infrastructure projects, we've consistently delivered innovative solutions that meet and exceed SIC's evolving requirements. Our expertise in marine structures ensures the continuous operation of the terminal's critical marine assets.


The Port of Sullom Voe is a major deep water harbour in Shetland that is owned by Shetland Islands Council and accommodates vessels up to 365 meters long, with displacements of up to 285,000 tonnes and drafts up to 24 metres.

“Over the decades, NIRAS has been an invaluable partner, providing exceptional support and expertise. Their dedication and professionalism have played an important part in the success of many of our projects. We are immensely grateful for their support and look forward to continuing this successful partnership for the duration of this contract,"

Andrew Inkster, Executive Manager, Ferry & Airport Operations & Port Infrastructure, Shetland Islands Council.

It has exported oil and liquefied gas from the adjacent Sullom Voe Terminal since the 1970s. NIRAS has provided marine civil engineering and technical consultancy services throughout; from initial planning and feasibility, to construction, ongoing maintenance and now onto life extension, future fuels and energy transformation.

As part of this development, NIRAS (formerly Peter Fraenkel & Partners) designed and constructed the Sullom Voe Terminal oil export jetties and harbour infrastructure.

Since the construction and opening of the jetties, NIRAS has been responsible for the specification and supervision of the marine infrastructure maintenance works. This rolling maintenance programme involves detailed jetty inspections and surveys, maintenance and capital infrastructure works. The scope of the inspection and engineering works includes:

  • Feasibility studies and technical advice

  • Marine structures inspection and remediation

  • Design for impressed current cathodic protection systems

  • Concrete repairs and cathodic protection in concrete

  • Concrete testing, half cell, chloride sampling, visual & hammer tests

  • Assessment of steel structures, access towers, gangways & crane jibs

  • Fender replacements and mooring analysis

  • Geometric surveys including: laser scanning, topographic, ROV and bathymetric

  • Assessment and remedial work at the Tug Jetty, Construction Jetty & RoRo

  • Asset Management

  • Capital infrastructure works

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Sullom Voe Terminal
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Jetties 2 and 4 Sullom Voe Terminal

Diversifying Shetland's Maritime Landscape

During the last 50 years NIRAS has supported SIC across many projects in Shetland including the original design and construction and now refurbishment of several inter-island ferry terminals at Toft, Ulsta, Hamars Ness and Fair Isle.

NIRAS has also used their expertise for transformative projects such as the Toft Pier Development. During the period 2018 - 2021 NIRAS carried out the detailed design and construction supervision of the strengthening and extension of the disused Toft Pier. The upgraded pier serves as an important facility for the local fishing community and aquaculture industry. Additionally, NIRAS was responsible for the environmental consenting and planning for the project.

Strengthening and extending the disused Toft Pier has not only revitalised the local fishing community and aquaculture industry but has become a symbol of the Shetland Islands Council/NIRAS partnership’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure.

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Toft Pier and Toft Ferry Terminal. (Photo by Keith Morrison)

Find out more about the Toft Pier and Toft Ferry Terminal here

A Collaborative Future

The success of these projects is testament to the power of collaboration and symbolises NIRAS’, Shetland Islands Council’s and local stakeholders’ shared commitment to supporting the maritime and coastal industries that are the lifeblood of the community.

Get in touch

If you are interested in hearing more about our five decades of marine engineering in Shetland or are interested in how NIRAS uses continuity and innovation to grow such successful, long term relationships, please get in touch.

Get in touch with our experts

Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker


Edinburgh, United Kingdom

+44 770 370 5395

Ian Gloyne-Phillips

Ian Gloyne-Phillips

Head of Marine Environment UK

Liverpool, United Kingdom

+44 7587 635497

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