INVERGORDON, UK – The Port of Cromarty Firth has applied to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for decommissioning permits under the Pollution Prevention Control Regulations.
One of the applications was lodged under the Radioactive Substances Act. Assuming clearance comes through the port should be in position to accommodate decommissioning projects by September.
Consultation started last August on the port’s plans to bring decommissioning to the area with port users, local community councils and politicians.
An investment in a new quayside at the port’s Invergordon service base, completed in 2015, means that it now has three berths and 80,000 sq m (861,113 sq ft) of laydown space ready to accept decommissioning projects.
The port’s board claims that its location, infrastructure, and supply chain give it a significant advantage in the market. It was recently recognized by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise as one of the main Scottish ports capable of performing decommissioning work.
Cromarty Firth’s supply chain is experienced in rig repair and maintenance projects, so the skills are said to be already in place to tackle the dismantling and recycling of the largest oil and gas structures.
Port general manager Captain Calum Slater said: “The port is ideally located in the North Sea. Our status as a Trust Port, together with our proven environmental record, ensures platforms will be decommissioned in a way that meets the latest environmental standards. We are already in discussions with customers who have structures to decommission and I can see the first of the new era coming to the firth next year.”
“Other ports are aligning to a single contractor, but we’re doing the opposite to provide customers more flexibility and choice. Our open port philosophy will allow any reputable client, operator, or contractor to use the port’s decommissioning license.
“The port will work with these companies to ensure that all dismantling activities at the Invergordon service base are carried out to the highest standard. The aim is to achieve the highest level of recycling and environmental protection. In accordance with our status as a Trust Port, 100% of any profits will be reinvested in the port’s future development for the benefit of our stakeholders.”