Here are the business stories making the headlines across Scotland and the UK this morning.

Shetland gas plant shut down over steam release

The Shetland Gas Plant has been shut down after a release of steam.

Operator TotalEnergies says part of the heating system on the site failed and staff were called to muster. Nobody was hurt in the incident and an investigation is under way.

The plant, next to the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, takes in gas from fields to the north-west of Shetland.

The facility processes the gas before it is piped to the Scottish mainland.

A spokesperson for TotalEnergies said: "Following the failure of an element of the heating medium system at Shetland Gas Plant yesterday, production remains shutdown whilst we conduct an investigation into the incident.

"Separately, we are also assessing when it will be safe to restart production. We will not restart production until it is safe to do so."

Nicola Sturgeon avoided using official phones as first minister

Nicola Sturgeon and the majority of her ministers refused to use government-issued mobile phones during her time in office, it has been revealed.

In a disclosure that has sparked fears over transparency and security, Scottish government officials have confirmed that the former first minister and her most senior parliamentarians used only personal devices to call or text colleagues.

Ministers are recommended to take government phones and are told that they have higher levels of encryption, a senior source confirmed.

Just nine of the 36 ministers in post between February 1, 2020 and January 31, 2022 were recorded as having official phones. By contrast, 26 of the 30 ministers currently working under Humza Yousaf, the first minister, have government-issued devices.

Of the current ministerial team, Lorna Slater, the Green minister for the circular economy, Christina McKelvie, the SNP minister for culture, and Scotland’s law officers have opted not to have a phone.

Plans lodged for new recycling centre at old AECC car park

A former car park once used during the biggest shows to hit Aberdeen could be transformed into a huge new recycling centre.

The overflow space at the old Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) has lain vacant since the entertainment mecca staged its final event in 2019.

The concert venue itself was knocked down the following year, with the front building later turned into a church.

Now, Aberdeen City Council wants to make use of the Bridge of Don site as a recycling centre.

Read more in today's Press and Journal.

House prices rise again as mortgage rates ease

House prices rose again last month and there are signs that activity in the market is picking up, according to the UK's biggest mortgage lender.

The Halifax said prices rose by 0.5% in November, the second increase in a row.

It said recent figures for mortgage approvals suggested "a slight uptick" in activity among buyers as the cost of home loans eases.

However, prices are still lower than a year ago, and Halifax said the market would remain under pressure in 2024.

Property prices are 1% lower than in November last year, the lender said, with the average property costing £283,615.

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