UK: Port of Blyth targets decommissioning market after securing license

Image: Port of Blyth

UK’s Port of Blyth has announced a move into the offshore decommissioning market following confirmation of a successful application for a decommissioning license from the UK Environment Agency (EA).

Having worked closely with the EA for 12 months prior to the environmental permit being granted, the port is now readying a site suitable for decommissioning at its busy Battleship Wharf terminal during 2018, the port said in a statement earlier this week.

The designated 2.3ha decom site within the terminal is now licensed to handle up to 50,000 tonnes of offshore energy materials per year with the port likely to focus on small to medium sized projects and pieces up to 4000 tonnes in response to demand.

Already benefiting from direct access to deep water berths to over 9.5m and an adjacent rail link, work will start to prepare a heavy duty concrete base and quarantine areas for hazardous waste including NORM.

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “Securing this decom license is excellent news for the Port of Blyth. It enables us diversify our offering to the offshore energy market and makes good use of our experience of the sector particularly in relation to our heavy lift and project cargo handling expertise.”

The development of decommissioning activities in the North Sea is seen as a key area for the port’s growth in the future.

The capture of major new clients Global Marine Group and DeepOcean as well as key roles on a number large scale projects including the launch of world’s largest pipe laying system with Royal IHC, the Belgium-UK Nemo Link interconnector and the development of EDF Renewables’ Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm has cemented the port’s position as one of the UK’s offshore energy support bases.

Roger Esson, Chief Executive of Decom North Sea, the decommissioning sector’s membership organisation, said: “This successful application for a decommissioning license from the UK Environment Agency clearly demonstrates the benefits brought by early communication between the supply chain and sector regulators.

“The Port of Blyth has clearly prepared for the scope of North Sea decommissioning work to come, and I am delighted to see the North East of England rise to the challenge of optimizing the opportunities that arise within the sector.”