Industry leaders have hailed the launch of a major decommissioning project as “firing the starting pistol” on a new era for Dundee.
Augean North Sea Services (ANSS) will provide specialised industrial cleaning and waste management services to energy giant Shell for the Curlew Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO).
The 236-metre vessel will be berthed in the Port of Dundee for around three months and industry bosses have predicted its presence alone could attract significant interest from other firms.
The work will ensure the environmental compliance of the FPSO before it is transported to Turkey to be dismantled and recycled later this year. It is hoped the contract will be the first of many at Dundee’s multi million-pound decommissioning centre.
Callum Falconer, chief executive of Dundeecom, said: “It’s really exciting for me to see the first major decommissioning project coming to Dundee and I think this is going to be the first of many.
“This is going to be a very visible project – you’re going to be able to see this vessel from a long way – and I think this will be a big statement for the region to say that decommissioning has now started.”
It is understood a number of projects are currently being explored for further work at the Port of Dundee, and industry figures are confident further decommissioning contracts would create a “material” number of jobs in the city.
David Webster, senior port manager for Forth Ports, said having a proven track record of securing the kind of work being carried out on the Curlew contract had already seen the number of tenders from other North Sea operators “gathering pace”.
“I think it proves that Dundee can really start to play in the decommissioning market and going forward, we see this as firing the starting pistol for decommissioning in Dundee,” he said.
“This is a huge project and there has been a lot of work and preparation for it. It’s been many, many months in the making.
“What it does do, is it proves the technical marine and the organisational capability that we’ve got in Dundee. Between that and our supply chain partners, I think we’re really proving to industry that we can do these kinds of projects.”
Rob Jansen, Shell’s head of the decommissioning, praised the professionalism of the team in Dundee, which he said had played a major role in securing the work.
He said: “There’s a lot of insulation that we’re decommissioning at the moment and a lot of that sub-sea infrastructure needs to be taken out as well. I think Dundee is perfectly located to play a part in that tender.
“Whether they can win it is something I don’t know but that tender is ongoing and is closing in a couple of weeks. I think there is absolutely the scope there for more work to come here.”