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Total to set up plant in Shetland Islands

French oil firm to create 500 jobs at new gas processing plant.

French oil company Total will be setting up a new gas processing plant at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands which will lead to the creation of 500 jobs.

A £500m contract to develop the plant was awarded to the Aberdeen- based oil services group Petrofac on Wednesday.

The Shetland project will be used to process gas from the Laggan and Tormore fields, which lie 78 miles northwest of the Islands.

The fields, estimated to have about four billion barrels of untapped oil and gas in British waters, contain about 17 per cent of the country's remaining reserves.

Total has partnered Denmark based Dong Energy to invest £2.5bn in developing the fields.

The new terminal is expected to start delivering gas to customers in UK by 2014.

"Today's announcement represents a very significant milestone," said Bill Dunnett, managing director of Petrofac offshore engineering and operations.

Dunnett who said that the construction of the 540,000 sq m plant would begin from next year added." We are looking at substantial growth here over the next five years."