Scottish port secures second decommissioning permit
Port of Cromarty Firth is Scotland’s first port to be granted decommissioning permits under the latest environment legislation (Pollution Prevention Control Regulations 2013).
This week it has secured a permit under the Radioactive Substances Act, issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
As a result, the port is now fully licensed to undertake decommissioning projects and attract the associated jobs to the Highlands region of central Scotland.
The permit regulates the keeping and use of radioactive materials and the accumulation and disposal of radioactive waste, including Normally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) which can be generated through the oil production process.
The regulations, designed to minimize the potential impact on both human health and the environment, set forth conditions and limitations under which radioactive substances can be used, stored and disposed of.
Last November, the port received another permit which ensures that emissions to air, water (including discharges to sewer) and land, and various other environmental effects are covered together. This is said to provide a more complete view of the necessary environmental management and therefore a higher standard of environmental protection.
The permits cover virtually the entire port-owned Invergordon Service Base - around 600 m (1,968 ft) of quayside and 80,000 sq m (861,113 sq ft) of laydown area - and allows for the processing of 50,000 metric tons/yr (55,116 tons) of waste material.
Captain Calum Slater, General Manager of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “This second permit means the port is now decommissioning ready.
“We have the licenses, capacity, experience and infrastructure, combined with a strategic location in the North Sea, and we are currently in talks with a number of companies about bringing this work to the Highlands…
“Most other ports are aligning with a single contractor, but we’re doing the opposite to provide customers with more flexibility and choice. The port will work with these different companies to ensure that all decommissioning activities at the port’s Invergordon Service Base are carried out to the highest environmental standards.”