Tuesday, August 29, 2017

North Sea Oil and Gas Offshore Decommissioning Hub Planned for Port of Dundee

Norwegian Scottish Cooperation Signs Heads of Agreement
Shipping News Feature
UK – Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom UK have signed Heads of Agreement intending to establish a new joint venture, AF Dundee, which it is proposed will create a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the city of Dundee, with its nucleus at the port. AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, has a notable track record as a decommissioning contractor and operates the AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, which the company claims is the North Sea's most advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations. President Bengt Hildisch commented:

“AF Offshore Decom is pleased to find a partner that shares the same vision and goals as ourselves to develop and operate a safe and cost efficient disposal yard in the UK. We have been seeking the right opportunity that enables us to build and expand our capabilities to the UK and create a sustainable, solution together with our facility in Norway, for the whole of the North Sea.”

The Port of Dundee, which is owned by Forth Ports, is currently installing a £10 million quay extension which it says will feature the UK’s strongest quayside, specifically designed to equip the port to handle the large-scale loads demanded during decommissioning operations. Charles Hammond, Chief Executive of Forth Ports, said:

“This is great news for the city, for the local economy and for the port. Our vision is to position Dundee as a major decommissioning centre for the North Sea and to ensure that customers gain access to an efficient, cost effective decommissioning solution. Partnering with such an established and respected organisation as AF Offshore UK will certainly enable this vision.”

The new deal was brokered by Dundeecom, the public/private partnership between Dundee City Council, DC Thomson and Forth Ports. The partnership was created to establish Dundee as a multi-disciplinary, internationally recognised centre of excellence in oil and gas decommissioning. Speaking to the press in June Dundeecom Chief Executive, Callum Falconer predicted the Prince Charles Wharf upgrade and heavy crane installation would attract a major player in this field to the city, and so it seems this has proved. He said:

“Given my experience in this sector, I believed that the best way to exploit Dundee’s potential was to team up in an innovative way with one of the industry leaders, and what has emerged is an exciting new offering to the market from what will be a new Scottish business headquartered in Dundee. Furthermore, we are already in discussions with other key players in the decommissioning space which will build upon the success of this new venture.”

Photo: (L to R) David Webster, Port Manager, Charles Hammond Chief Exec Forth Ports, Erwin Lammertink vice president AF Offshore, Cllr John Alexander Leader of Dundee City Council and Callum Falconer Chief Exec Dundeecom.