Forth Ports in Dundee port decommissioning deal

Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom announced the signing of a heads of agreement with the intent to establish a new joint venture called AF Dundee to lay the foundations of creating a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the Port of Dundee.

The deal was brokered by Dundeecom, the public-private partnership between Dundee City Council, DC Thomson and Forth Ports.

The partnership was created to establish Dundee as a multi-disciplinary, internationally recognised centre of excellence in oil and gas decommissioning.

AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, is a prominent decommissioning contractor and operates the AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, an advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations.

“The Port of Dundee is optimally placed to accommodate a significant share of North Sea decommissioning work due to its proximity to many UK North Sea oil and gas assets, rail and road links, port facilities, its on-site supply chain and the city’s skilled workforce,” said Forth Ports.

“The Port of Dundee, which is owned by Forth Ports, is currently installing a £10 million quay extension which will feature the UK’s strongest quayside, specifically designed to equip the port to handle the large-scale loads demanded during decommissioning operations.

“AF Offshore Decom UK has an outstanding track record of more than 15 years in the execution of the North Sea’s most challenging decommissioning projects, such as Ekofisk 2/4T, Statoil H7/B11, CNR’s Murchison and many more.”

Dundeecom chief executive Callum Falconer said: “Given my experience in this sector, I believed that the best way to exploit Dundee’s potential was to team up in an innovative way with one of the industry leaders, and what has emerged is an exciting new offering to the market from what will be a new Scottish business headquartered in Dundee.

“Furthermore, we are already in discussions with other key players in the decommissioning space which will build upon the success of this new venture.”

Forth Ports CEO Charles Hammond said: “This is great news for the city, for the local economy and for the port.

“Our vision is to position Dundee as a major decommissioning centre for the North Sea and to ensure that customers gain access to an efficient, cost effective decommissioning solution.

“Partnering with such an established and respected organisation as AF Offshore UK will certainly enable this vision.”

Bengt Hildisch, president of AF Offshore Decom, said: “AF Offshore Decom is pleased to find a partner that shares the same vision and goals as ourselves to develop and operate a safe and cost efficient disposal yard in the UK.

“We have been seeking the right opportunity that enables us to build and expand our capabilities to the UK and create a sustainable, solution together with our facility in Norway, for the whole of the North Sea.”