May 17th 2018

Scapa Flow is consolidating its position as the European centre for excellence for ship-to-ship (STS) operations at anchor of crude oil and other products, with a particularly busy period for the harbour about to get underway.

The harbour authority, OIC Marine Services, is over the next week preparing for the arrival of over 15 Aframax, Suezmax and VLCC tanker types to undertake eight STS operations.

In addition to that activity, the departure of the drilling rig Stena Don, and Prosafe accommodation vessel Safe Caledonia is also imminent, with both companies planning to return to Scapa Flow later this year.

Talking about the Scapa Flow Oil Port activity, Orkney Islands Council business development manager Michael Morrison said: "The experience and knowledge that the pilots, pilot boat crews, tug crews and operational staff, led by the harbourmaster have acquired through carrying out multiple STS operations over many years is unrivalled, resulting in giving Scapa Flow the industry recognition it deserves for these seamless operations."

He said that this had led to Scapa Flow being recognised as a European centre for excellence for such operations within the industry.

As well as the upturn in oil port activity, cruise season is also well underway, with the second visit of the largest cruise ship of the year, MSC Meraviglia, which is due on Tuesday at Hatston Pier.

The prestigious Cunard liner Queen Victoria is also due in Kirkwall tomorrow, Friday.