Spirit Energy's Morecambe Bay Platforms Arrive at CessCon Yard for Decommissioning


CessCon Decom, a Scotland-based firm specializing in decommissioning of oil and gas structures, has taken delivery of the DP3 and DP4 offshore platforms from Spirit Energy’s Morecambe Bay development in the East Irish Sea.

Allseas’ single-lift vessel Pioneering Spirit delivered the two topsides to CessCon Decom's Energy Park Fife Facility. The topsides were transferred to Allseas’ Iron Lady barge in the River Forth before being offloaded across the quay to the dismantlement area.

The contract to decommission, decontaminate, dismantle, and recycle the DP3 and DP4 assets involves the processing of up to 23,000 tonnes of material at our Energy Park Fife Decommissioning Facility in Fife, Scotland.

The DP3 and DP4 installations which previously produced part of Spirit Energy’s Morecambe Bay gas fields – installed in the 1980s – were removed from the East Irish Sea earlier this year after a campaign to plug and abandon the platforms’ 12 wells.

The DP3 and DP4 offshore platforms first produced gas in 1985 when the South Morecambe field came online. The area continues to produce from the Central Morecambe, North Morecambe, DP6 and DP8 platforms.

Johan Paauwe, Project Manager at Allseas said: “While the DP3 and DP4 topsides are relatively light in contrast to Pioneering Spirit’s single-lift capacity, this project gave us another chance to showcase the vessel’s capability. The motion-compensated lift technology proved hugely effective in the shallow waters of Morecambe Bay, renowned for strong currents and challenging tidal conditions. For both topsides, it was a couple of hours from arrival in the field to safe execution of the lifts."Credit: Allseas

“It’s the first time we’ve delivered assets to a yard in mainland Scotland for recycling. The first-class communication and synergy from all parties facilitated a safe and seamless load-in to the CessCon yard.”

Lee Hanlon, CEO of CessCon Group said: “Bringing the Pioneering Spirit to mainland Scotland for the first time was a significant achievement, the meticulous planning, and engineering by all parties ensured that the offload and set-down was executed safely, and on schedule. We will now commence dismantlement and recycling operations with a reuse and recycling target of 98% (by weight) of all materials, in line with our circular economy strategy, and we look forward to delivering a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible project together with Spirit Energy and Allseas.”

Donald Martin, Decommissioning Projects Manager at Spirit Energy, said: “With some of the infrastructure in Morecambe Bay having been built by Scottish fabrication yards, it feels fitting that the first platforms to be removed from the East Irish Sea will now be decommissioned and dismantled by a new yard in Fife.

“It has been a collaborative effort from Spirit, Allseas, CessCon, and all of our supply chain partners to get to this point, and we look forward to seeing CessCon’s team at work as they recycle or reuse the vast majority of material from these two platforms.”

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