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Sullom Voe Terminal Power Station

Located within Sullom Voe Oil Terminal in the NW of the Shetland Mainland, Sullom Voe Terminal Power Station was commissioned along with the terminal in 1978 to meet its considerable demands for electricity. Shetland is not connected to the British National Electricity Grid and because of this demand has to be satisfied by generation capacity on the islands. The plant comprises four 25 MW General Electric Frame 5 turbines, fuelled by gas provided by the terminal. Up to 22 MW of the electricity generated is exported to the Shetland grid providing a vital addition to Lerwick Power Station. This figure has increased over the years as the needs of Sullom Voe Terminal has declined with falling oil production. The station also forms part of a combined heat and power scheme (CHP), which heats the oil to reduce its viscosity for pumping and also provides heating for administrative offices. The power station is owned by BP but, since 2004, it has been operated by the Finnish company Fortum on their behalf. It employs approximately twenty people.

It was within this power station on the 9th May 1981 that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a 3.1 kg (7 lb) terrorist bomb, their only attack on Scottish soil, intended to gain publicity by harming Queen Elizabeth II during the official opening of the Sullom Voe Terminal. The explosion was barely heard and no-one was injured as staff and the Royal visitors were in a building elsewhere on the site at the time.


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