Highlands & Islands

Stornoway Port Authority in Arctic hub plan

Ship in Arctic Ocean
Image caption The port authority said an ice-free Arctic sea opened up possibilities for the island harbour

Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) has said an ice-free Arctic Ocean could lead to its harbour becoming a key destination for freighters.

Scientists have been reporting that the area of ocean covered by ice in summer and autumn has been falling.

Last year, a Russian tanker made the first commercial voyage from Norway to Japan through the sea.

The SPA said that in 20 years ships travelling between Asia and Europe could be refuelling in Stornoway.

Chief executive Jane MacIver said new jobs could be created for people living in the Western Isles.

She said: "The vision long-term is for Stornoway to become a European Arctic gateway hub for shipping.

"We are bang in the path of any ship that is coming from China or the Far East across the Arctic."

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