Highlands & Islands

Grounded rig Transocean Winner to be moved to Turkey

Rig in Broad Bay Image copyright Craig Allan

An oil rig which ran aground on Lewis is likely to be transported to Turkey later this month, BBC Alba has learned.

A semi-submersible heavy lift ship will be used to move the damaged Transocean Winner.

It is currently at anchor in Broad Bay on the east coast of Lewis after being refloated from rocks at Dalmore where it ran aground during a storm.

The installation will be decommissioned in Turkey.

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, said it was likely to be moved before the end of September.

12-hour operation

Local politicians had urged the owners of the drilling rig to carry out the decommissioning work in the Highlands and Islands.

Angus Campbell, the leader of Western Isles local authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, suggested that it could be scrapped at facilities near Stornoway on Lewis.

SNP MP Ian Blackford said the structure could be dismantled at a yard at Kishorn in Wester Ross.

Mr Shaw told BBC Alba the lifting operation would take place in deeper water about two miles from where the rig is anchored.

It could take up to 12 hours for the ship to lift the Transocean Winner.

Mr Shaw said: "We need really good weather. This probably is the wrong time of the year to be doing this operation, but we have to deal with the cards we have been given."

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