SUCCESSFUL DECOMMISSIONING – HOW HARD CAN IT BE?

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A growing part of RED’s business is providing engineering solutions for the decommissioning of assets in both the offshore oil and gas and nuclear sectors. At first glance, you could think that that these should be relatively straightforward cut and shut type projects as the asset is effectively being scrapped. However, we know from first-hand experience that decommissioning can be as challenging or even more challenging than operations in the earlier stages of a project lifecycle.

For example, during build or installation phases with today’s processes and technology all elements of the project are well defined – from the dimensions of components, to the type of material used and manufacturing processes. At the time of decommissioning you are dealing with many unknowns – the equipment will have been subjected to years of wear and tear, it may have been upgraded and documentation from older assets may be incomplete or non-existent – certainly not up to current 21st century standards. It is also clear that given the lack of future income streams, the economic drivers of decommissioning are different to installation and maintenance type projects.

Given both the technical and commercial challenges we know RED can add significant value for our clients by applying our proven skills to allow the safe and economic completion of these projects.

Previous offshore projects include the development of equipment for the removal of subsea hardware, pipelines and structures, ranging from clamps, through bespoke lifting equipment to ROV tooling.

Nuclear decommissioning projects present similar challenges in relation to fully understanding the condition of the assets and a requirement for remote intervention but the components can obviously be more hazardous and human intervention may not be possible at any stage. RED is now pioneering the use of industrial robots in this field to remove personnel from hazardous environments and change the game in terms of safety and efficiency.

In all cases our headline approach is the same – the use of engineering expertise, supply chain and test facility to quickly assess the key risks of the project and to then rapidly engineer and test solutions that will mitigate the risks and allow successful project execution.

If you would like to find out more about our track record in this area or are looking for solutions for a current decommissioning challenge, then please contact us at info@redengineers.co.uk

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