Renewables Sector Encouraged to Consider Decommissioning Requirements From the Outset - 23 May 2012
Companies planning offshore renewable energy projects have been urged by Decom North Sea (DNS), the offshore oil and gas decommissioning forum, to learn lessons from the past and plan for the decommissioning stage from the outset.
The industry body will be exhibiting on stand F49 at All Energy, the UK's largest renewables show. DNS will be in the new exhibition area, Offshore Maintenance, which is focussed on the operation and maintenance of a typical wind farm life cycle of 26 years.
With the ever increasing development of offshore wind farms around the UK and Northern Europe, attention is now turning to the complex matter of how to operate and maintain these installations, and DNS is keen to promote the benefits to renewables companies of planning ahead and learning lessons from the oil and gas industry.
DNS Chief Executive Brian Nixon said: "Offshore wind developers have an obligation to submit decommissioning plans and demonstrate how they will fund and manage them at the end of project lifespans. It is important that companies involved in renewables projects consider what will happen with installations at the end of their life span. This has been a costly lesson for many companies in the oil and gas industry that did not plan ahead for the decommissioning stage.
"In the early stages of new offshore projects, the emphasis is naturally focused on design, construction, operations and maintenance, but we would encourage developers to give serious consideration to the costs and strategy for decommissioning at the initial design stage, particularly with the large number of installations involved with an offshore wind development. By exhibiting at All Energy it gives us the perfect opportunity to meet with those involved in the renewables sector and offer support and advice from our experiences working with the oil and gas industry."
Decom North Sea has grown since its inception in 2010, to have nearly 200 members drawn from operators, major contractors, service specialists and technology developers. With annual decommissioning expenditure in the North Sea forecast to top £1billion within a few years, the organisation is working to tackle the main areas of weakness, which are inhibiting decommissioning supply-chain capability.