Memories will still be fairly fresh of the devastation wrought by an explosion and subsequent fire at the Buncefield Oil Depot in Hertfordshire in December 2005. Although established well away from centres of population and industry in 1968, the depot found itself near a newly established business park and homes at the time of the explosion. In the aftermath of this incident I did informally enquire whether the fuel depot in Stornoway shouldn't be moved. It is located on Shell Street, next to the Somerfields Supermarket, only a hop and a step from the town centre, and only two streets from the Nicolson Institute.
I was quietly satisfied to learn this morning that a plan is to be drawn up to move the landing of oil and gas from Number 2 Pier to Glumag Harbour. Apparently, Number 2 Pier is nearing the end of its useful life, and it would serve to develop the Arnish site further. Good news, now that the Fabrication Yard appears to be mothballed for the foreseeable future. It would stand to reason that the storage tanks would also be shifted to Arnish, something that their owners, BP and Scotia Gas, aren't too happy with. However, safety comes first, and if the landing facilities for fuels has to be upgraded at any rate, the move to Arnish is a viable proposition. A feasibility study is to be set up to look into implementing these plans.