Case studies

UK flag Large-scale EPC on a remote island, United Kingdom

Image gallery
  • Largest UK construction project since the London Olympics
  • 2,000 people on site at peak
  • 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  • Supplying energy to two million homes
  • Occupies area larger than 75 football pitches

Project: >US$2 billion engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning contract

Client: TOTAL E&P UK

Location: Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands, UK

Petrofac delivered the UK’s biggest construction project since the London Olympics for Total E&P UK.

A vital cog in the UK’s future energy supply

Petrofac was awarded the  engineering, procurement supply, construction and commissioning contract for the 500 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing Shetland Gas Plant (SGP).

The SGP facilitates the transportation of gas from the Laggan and Tormore fields, 125 km north-west of the Shetland Islands, to the St Fergus Gas Terminal in Aberdeenshire, and into the national gas grid.

With an estimated 17% of the UK’s undeveloped oil and gas reserves located west of Shetland, the SGP is well located to support future energy needs in the UK. The site is adjacent to the original landmark Sullom Voe oil terminal, built in the 1970s to receive oil from the first wave of major North Sea oil discoveries.

A huge engineering undertaking

The vast SGP occupies approximately 540,000m² - more than 75 football pitches – and the build required:

  • 39,000 cubic metres of concrete
  • 3,900 tonnes of steel
  • 1,500 km of electrical and instrument cabling
  • A 90-metre-high flare

The SGP is made up of 62 modules, weighing between 21 and 380 tonnes, and used 105 km of pipe and 1,550 km of electrical and instrument cabling.

A mini village for the workforce

At peak times there were as many as 2,000 people on site. In addition to building a modern, well-equipped temporary accommodation block for up to 850 people with offices, a canteen, recreational centre, medical suite and an all-weather five-a-side football pitch, extra accommodation also had to be sourced.

We used the island’s hotels – providing direct local economic benefits – and brought floating accommodation facilities to Lerwick Harbour, another a significant logistical challenge.

To ensure our team acted safely and understood what was expected of them, we developed a robust training and competency programme for everyone working on site, including three separate induction programmes

  • job specific,
  • health, safety and environment
  • site specific

In parallel to the work on site, we generated significant engagement with the local Shetland community. Our project team was involved in activities such as beach clean-ups and the local “Up Helly Aa” festival. We also sponsored “Dogs Against Drugs” to help boost drug detection capability on the island.

Supplying energy for two million homes

The SGP is capable of supplying energy to two million homes (8% of the UK's gas needs) and has been operating successfully and exporting gas since February 2016.