Explosive results – Liberty Industrial has Successfully Executed the Blowdown of the Northern Producer

Explosive results – Liberty Industrial has Successfully Executed the Blowdown of the Northern Producer

Kishorn Port, Scotland – June 13, 2024 – Liberty Industrial, a leading international closure company, is proud to announce the successful completion of the explosive demolition of the Northern Producer (NP) Floating Production Platform on the 13th of June, 2024.

In a “first of its kind” approach for such an asset, Liberty Industrial leveraged international experts to develop the explosive methodologies as part of a ten-month program to decontaminate, demolish, recycle and dispose of the platform in a dry dock.

With an overall weight of 11,500 tonnes, Liberty Industrial determined that the safest methodology would be to bring the topside to reduced height by means of explosive techniques. The sophisticated demolition design, developed in collaboration with expert subcontractors, facilitated the controlled collapse using explosive charges in 38 locations on the platform, marking it as one of the largest single use of explosives at a demolition site in Europe at the time of the project. This process ensured the NP fell in a precisely controlled, symmetrical method towards the back wall of the dry dock onto itself.

The NP, originally constructed in 1976, served as a drilling rig before its conversion to a floating production facility in 1991. It operated in the UK North Sea until 2021. In October 2023, Northern Offshore UK Ltd contracted Liberty Industrial to commence decommissioning of the NP.

“As the 2nd major contract for Liberty Industrial in the UK, we overcame challenges faced due to the uniqueness of the dry dock approach, and its location in a remote region of Scotland, by the sourcing of experienced, qualified labour from North East England, a proven decommissioning heartland, combined with project management expertise from Australia to ensure the safest and most innovative outcome possible.” Martin Hewitt, UK General Manager.

Liberty Industrial’s management team identified carefully selected and experienced subcontractors for the explosive demolition engineering works – Precision Demolition Company (PDC) for explosives engineering services and design, and Applied Science International (ASI) for modelling of structural failure modes, to derive a demolition design.

“We are extremely pleased with our ability to leverage our strengths, with PDC and ASI, to successfully deliver such a milestone event for the decommissioning industry in the UK. It demonstrates our capabilities and our growing position in the UK market.” said Martin.

In the lead up, hazardous materials such as asbestos, NORM, diesel/oils, electrical systems, contained water, energized systems, marine growth, and accommodation module components were successfully removed.

Liberty Industrial rented the dry dock facility from Kishorn Port Limited (KPL) which is located on the North Coast 500 tourist route and surrounded by hiker trails, natural wildlife and surrounding port activities. Local community and neighbouring stakeholders were regularly informed of blowdown plans.

Commitment to maximum circular economy benefits

The decommissioning of the asset is set to support both the local and international circular economies, with an expected 97-98% recycling rate, including recovered ferrous metals, machinery and marine growth, which was repurposed as fertiliser in the local farming community. Other various electronic hardware and components were recycled, further promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility for the industry.

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