Assurances have been sought over continued fuel supplies to the Uists as Lochcarnan Depot undergoes essential maintenance during February and March. The Depot is operated by Certas Energy under lease from the Ministry of Defence and, on Tuesday this week, the Comhairle’s Chairman of Transportation, Councillor Uisdean Robertson (Beinn na Faoghla agus Uibhist a Tuath), met with Certas Energy’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Brian Worrall, to discuss the matter.
Corrosion to inlet pipework at Lochcarnan has led Certas to suspend ship bound deliveries pending the installation of new pipework. These repairs aim be complete by the end of March 2018 and, in the meantime, fuel will be delivered to Lochcarnan by road tanker from Certas Energy’s Inverness Depot. Certas is confident that supplies can be maintained but has agreed to continued engagement with the Uist community so that any unforeseen ‘pinch points’ in road / ferry delivery can be quickly addressed.
At the meeting, Certas Energy reaffirmed the long term future of Lochcarnan as a key Certas Depot and a programme of significant investment over the period 2018 to 2021 was outlined. This investment will include works to the inlet pipework, jetty and storage tank bunds. Councillor Robertson said, "We are grateful to Certas Energy for clarifying the current situation at Lochcarnan, confirming their short term investment plans and reaffirming their longer term commitment to Lochcarnan as a key network Depot. We were assured that the Depot should be fully operational by the end of March 2018, in time to meet growing fuel demand from the fishing industry and other sectors. Until then, we will work with Certas to make sure that any pinch points in local supply are immediately addressed".