Shetland Islands Council is reported to have made a small profit on the sale of its two troubled tugs ‘Solan’ and ‘Bonxie’.

It is around five years ago that Shetland Islands Council took delivery of two powerful tugs for operation at the Sullom Voe oil terminal. They had an unhappy time in operation right from the start however after they experienced alleged handling problems with the crews refusing to operate them.

Modification were made to resolve the problems but in the meantime the council had a rethink on the arrangement for towage services at the terminal in the light of changing requirements and decided to sell the two tugs and return to a four vessel operation. They were subsequently sold to Italian owners becoming Giovanni Calderani and Carla Baruzzi respectively. A local newspaper now reports that while they failed to reach their market valuation, overall the sale has contributed £70,000 to the council’s funds.

By Peter Barker