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Gas platform re-use competition

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With rising numbers of North Sea production platforms approaching the end of their operational lives, plans are being drawn up to re-use and recycle the millions of tonnes of materials and equipment that will come ashore.

In a November webinar hosted on Twitter by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, industry consultants Westlord Associates outlined proposals for an international competition with the aim of identifying innovative ways in which these items might be re-used. Cash rewards, business support and non-financial incentives are among the prizes included in the proposals.

Westlord is based in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, in Scotland. Founder and Director Alex West hopes this high-profile tie up with EMF will help to attract funding from companies, government bodies or any philanthropists in a position to support such an event.

In a related move, Westlord, working with Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University, has been working with the not-for-profit organisation Decom North Sea, to try and quantify the value that decommissioning offshore oil and gas rigs could contribute to the wider circular economy.

Forecasts indicate that over 1 million tonnes of topsides and substructures will be coming ashore to the UK alone throughout the next decade. Other North Sea rim countries such as The Netherlands, Norway and Denmark will add approximately 800,000 tonnes more.

”All this means that there’s a big prize out there,” says Alex West, “with reuse potentially of much more value than recycling”.

Although this work has attracted funding from the Scottish Government, further financial support is needed.

Responses to both projects should be addressed to


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