ABB Consulting, a global leader in process safety, integrity management and related services, has completed a study on behalf of Decom North Sea (DNS), the representative body for the decommissioning industry and Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), focusing on methods for cost-efficient decommissioning practice.

The 'Removal and Disposal Landscaping Study' was launched in March 2015 to identify efficient decommissioning solutions which encompass re-use and thereby contribute to the circular economy approach for maximising the useful life of assets.

By considering the three principal recognised platform removal methods and determining their advantages and disadvantages, the report also examines the effect each removal method has on the opportunities for re-use and resale, ultimately recommending seven key actions to promote the benefits of alternative methodologies and the principles of the circular economy.

Nigel Jenkins, DNS Chief Executive explains why this study was commissioned: 'With the decommissioning cost forecast rising, currently in the region of £45billion, it is essential we find innovative solutions to reduce the cost burden for both the operators and the UK tax payer. This important research starts the journey towards increased efficiency, circular economy principles and presents opportunities for the UK supply chain.'

Steve Andrew is head of ABB's decommissioning team, which was responsible for the study: 'Decommissioning is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK offshore industry and if costs are going to be controlled, then alternative approaches must be fully explored to determine their applicability.

'This requires an industry education programme that learns from other industries which have already gone through similar processes, such as the onshore oil and gas and nuclear industries. In addition, we need to see the urgent development of reliable comparative cost estimates.'

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said: 'This new report offers some excellent insight into how re-use can be considered as part of the decommissioning process, helping to contribute to a circular economy. Moving to a circular economy has economic and environmental benefits, and it's great to be able to collaborate with this industry to explore the options it presents.'

ABB Consulting has more than 30 years' experience in demolition and decommissioning services and conducted the study through a series of surveys, workshops and interviews with operator organisations.

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