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In the new edition of PortNews, read about how Sagro has won its first offshore decommissioning assignment...

Sagro, a Zeeland company with its roots in infrastructure and onshore demolition activities, recently announced its first assignment for decommissioning offshore oil and gas assets. Sil de Rijke, Account Manager at Sagro, tells PortNews more about this latest development.

No big issue
“At Sagro, we have a lot of experience and expertise in the field of onshore demolition”, Mr de Rijke starts. “To be honest, we prefer the word ‘dismantling’ for this type of work as today, just like decommissioning at sea, dismantling onshore structures has become a complex task in which we have to work according to strict procedures based on rules and legislation. Although we are fully aware that dismantling an object at sea
can hardly be compared with onshore decommissioning, our know-how and experience in the latter has helped us to be granted our first offshore project. For us, the decision to enter the offshore decommissioning market was no big issue. It was of course no overnight decision but when we see a good opportunity, it does not take much time for us to bite the bullet. This is one of the characteristics of our hands-on organisation.”

Tyra Redevelopment Phase 2
The first decommissioning assignment was announced by Sagro in November last year. Allseas granted the company the dismantling of four jackets that are part of Total’s Tyra production facilities. Mr de Rijke explains, “The work consists of the cleaning, dismantling, recycling, and disposal of four jackets, with a combined weight of more than 10,000t.” The Tyra field is located in the Danish sector of the North Sea and processes around 90% of the Danish gas production.

The decommissioning project is part of phase 2 of the redevelopment of the gas field. “For further processing gas, the field needs new assets but before these can be installed, the old ones need to be removed”, Mr de Rijke explains. Shortly after announcing the first project, Sagro was able to report a second order related to the same redevelopment project. “Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) was granted the lifting of various structures. In this project we are going to clean, decommission, recycle, and dispose multiple topsides, bridges, flare towers, and a jacket, with a combined weight of more than 16,000t.”

Quay extension
This second assignment will be executed first and is expected to start in 2020. “Firstly,”, Mr de Rijke states, “the structures lifted by HMC will be brought to us for further processing. Our challenge will be to have everything moved from our terrain before Allseas brings in the jackets. One of the first things for facilitating the project will be the realisation of extra terrain on our terminal for receiving and temporary storing the tonnes of steel that will arrive next year. For this, we will extend our existing quay from 100m to 185m. Part of the existing 100m will also be dismantled and renewed by a heavy load quay (15t/m2).

With this, we will be able to execute load-ins using SPMTs and heavy load cranes. With the additional metres of quay length, we will also get the necessary extra space for handling and storage. An additional advantage of the heavy lift quay is that it will be possible to use smaller cranes closer to the quayside. This is more cost efficient, so good for our customers.”

Logistic process
Mr de Rijke continues, “We do not take care of recycling any materials at the terminal. It is our job to clean the structures by taking out all of the polluting fluids and separate all materials for further transport to, for example, recycling companies.” As earlier mentioned, decommissioning is complex, especially for topsides as they contain a lot of different parts that all need to be separated. “In decommissioning, the most ideal situation is that parts can be reused, and for topsides this is sometimes the case with, among other things, aggregates and pumps that can have a new life after cleaning and overhauling. When reuse is no option, we separate the different types of material to make them recyclable or to transport these as final waste. This leads to a large variety of flows towards several processors. In order to optimise this logistic process, we place the more complex structures that require more time as far away from the quay and terminal exit as possible so that materials of less complex structures can be efficiently transported.” The whole process can be time-consuming, depending on complexity and size of the pieces in which the steel needs to be cut for recycling. “Smaller pieces are more convenient for recycling, but this takes more time and is more expensive”, Mr de Rijke comments.

Met mast
Meanwhile, according to Mr de Rijke, the first assignments have already resulted in new orders from other projects. “Our first decommissioning project executed on our terminal involved a 600t met mast of the Hornsea One offshore windfarm on behalf of Deme Offshore. It is good to see that the Tyra contracts are considered as reference projects for winning other projects, and with every new project we learn a lot. Being chosen for a decommissioning project is a challenging effort. Mr de Rijke continues, “The operator wants to know exactly what will happen with the remainders of the asset. For this, the contractor, for example HMC or Allseas, and their sub contractors like Sagro needs to provide a full picture of their planned activities for the project. This is not only a matter of filling in documents and showing certificates, operators have even visited us via third party auditors to investigate and judge our organisation and facilities. The most important elements for an operator for making a decision are safety, environment, and waste management. For the latter, total traceability of all
elements of the dismantled asset is required. Most of this is of course also common in onshore dismantling, and we are used to these procedures. With our digitalised documentation, we can trace even the smallest piece of a project.”

Fast and flexible
The decommissioning market is currently a relatively small market. Mr de Rijke admits that once the amount of projects grows, competition will also expand. “Of course, the more projects, the more likely it is that newcomers will enter the market. This might result in a fierce price competition.” Mr de Rijke is convinced that Sagro’s capabilities in decommissioning will give them a good starting point. “Our strength lies in having our own dedicated terminal, located close to the North Sea. Within our group of companies, we have several branches for dismantling and waste disposal, but we can also provide our customers with environmental advice. With our transport company, we can take care of the transport towards the hinterland for further processing. Another advantage of the group is that we can act fast and flexibly in case we need extra people for a certain project. So when taking everything into account, we are a perfect decom partner and our recent successes are a proof of this.”


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