It’s too easy to imagine that Aberdeen is the “home” of decommissioning in the North Sea. In fact, it’s a common assumption, whereas in reality services, equipment and decommissioned items are mobilised, utilised, brought ashore and processed across the whole of the UK, not just the north east of Scotland. This is reflected in the geographical distribution of our members across Scotland, England and elsewhere in the world.
Late Life and Decommissioning services are often integrated, drawing on multidisciplined teams and are frequently executed from several locations, by the same company, at the same time. A good example of this is the Texo Port Services team based at Port of Blyth, Northumberland. Working in close conjunction with Port of Blyth itself and Thompsons of Prudhoe – whom are also DNS members – the Texo team at the South Harbour offers a suite of vessel mobilisation, fabrication, heavy lift, logistics, inspection and other services to the decommissioning, operations and maintenance, subsea and renewables markets.
Decommissioning services at Port of Blyth are now managed via a dedicated, 2.4 hectare, fully-licensed facility, operated by decommissioning and demolition specialists Thompsons of Prudhoe. The facility has been busy since the partnership with the Port, which was formed in 2020 with a joint £1m investment in site upgrades and now has a growing order book running into 2023-24.
During a recent site visit Sam Long (Interim Chief Executive, DNS) and Jinda Nelson (Decommissioning Manager, Bilfinger and Chairperson DNS), spent time with the enthusiastic and justifiably proud team at Texo as they showcased recent investment in facilities and people, and cited examples of delivered and prospective projects. With a substantial fabrication shop and direct quayside access, the Texo team is well organised and keen to display its decom credentials. The team is also fully integrated with its neighbours and partners, as might be expected in a working harbour, whilst also being supported by colleagues in other Texo locations – including Aberdeen!
We were thoroughly welcomed and highly impressed by the facilities, a sense of teamwork and an optimistic view of what lies ahead. Decommissioning may not attract the same level of attention as is currently paid to the broad brush that is the Energy Transition, but it is a key activity for numerous members of the supply chain and one that we continue to champion for Texo and others.