Categories: Blyth, NewsPublished On: 24.11.2017580 words3 min read

New jobs are set to be created at the port and within the supply chain after it was granted a decommissioning licence

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The Port of Blyth has successfully applied for a decommissioning licence – its new decommissioning area is highlighted

New jobs could soon be created at a North East port which has made a strategic move into a major emerging sector.

Port of Blyth has announced a move into the offshore decommissioning market following confirmation of its successful application for a decommissioning licence from the UK Environment Agency.

Decommissioning of the UK’s offshore facilities is a major industrial challenge and a sector with the potential for huge growth in the North East.

Having worked closely with the Environment Agency for a year before the environmental permit was granted, the Port is now readying a site suitable for decommissioning at its busy Battleship Wharf terminal during 2018.

The Port said it can can envisage projects involving individual pieces up to 10,000 tonnes, some of which could take several months to complete, becoming commonplace at the site as the sector grows.

The fast-growing business has also indicated that the new strand of offshore energy will inevitably lead to the creation of both new jobs at the port and within supply chain companies, with work being both labour intensive and highly specialised.

Its designated 2.3 hectare decommissioning site within the terminal is now licenced to handle up to 50,000 tonnes of offshore energy materials per year, with the Port likely to focus on small to medium sized projects and pieces up to 4,000 tonnes in response to demand.

It already has direct access to deep water berths to over 9.5m and an adjacent rail link, and now work will commence to prepare a heavy duty concrete base and quarantine areas for hazardous waste.

Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor

Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor (Image: handout)

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, said: “Securing this decom licence is excellent news for the Port of Blyth.

“It enables us diversify our offering to the offshore energy market and makes good use of our experience of the sector particularly in relation to our heavy lift and project cargo handling expertise.”

Having reported a second consecutive year of record financial figures in April including a 17% growth in turnover, the Port is now viewed as one of the UK’s fastest growing Trust Ports, driven largely by a surge in offshore related activities in recent years.

The development of decommissioning activities in the North Sea seen as a key area for growth in the future

The capture of major new clients Global Marine Group and DeepOcean as well as key roles on a number large scale projects including the launch of world’s largest pipe laying system with Royal IHC, the Belgium-UK Nemo Link interconnector and the development of EDF Renewables’ Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm has cemented the Port’s position as one of the UK’s leading offshore energy support bases.

Roger Esson, chief executive of Decom North Sea, the decommissioning sector’s membership organisation, added: “This successful application for a decommissioning licence from the UK Environment Agency clearly demonstrates the benefits brought by early communication between the supply chain and sector regulators.

“The Port of Blyth has clearly prepared for the scope of North Sea decommissioning work to come, and I am delighted to see the North East of England rise to the challenge of optimising the opportunities that arise within the sector.”

Source: www.chroniclelive.co.uk, 24 November 2017