Kishorn Port has been confirmed as an EU-approved site for shipbreaking, paving the way for the site to take on new decommissioning work following a multi-million pound extension of drydock facilities.
The Wester Ross facility – operated as 50-50 joint venture by Ferguson Transport and Leith’s – was awarded approval by the European Commission on Thursday.
Kishorn was admitted alongside Aberdeen-headquartered Dales Marine, which re-applied for approval of its site in Leith, Edinburgh, following the UK’s exit from the EU.
EU rules require ship owners to ensure that ships destined to be recycled are only recycled at ship recycling facilities included in its approved list facilities.
The two Scottish yards were approved as part of a ruling that also saw the addition of a site in the Netherlands, taking its total list to 46 sites.
🆕 Shipbreaking 🚢
3 new ship recycling yards (1 🇳🇱, 2 🇬🇧) recognised by 🇪🇺
The updated European List now contains 46 yards, including 37 in Europe (🇪🇺🇳🇴🇬🇧), 8 in 🇹🇷 and 1 in 🇺🇲 – ensuring safer standards for the environment and workers’ healthhttps://t.co/JMGE2oA2wa pic.twitter.com/JPcSIywYRW
— EU Environment (@EU_ENV) April 28, 2022
Prior to this, only four UK ports were approved for shipbreaking, with Dales’ Leith being the only other in Scotland.
Both companies hope it will allow the ports to bid for larger slices of marine and oil and gas decommissioning work in future.
Having worked since 2017 to refurbish and re-open the site’s 160m dry dock, Kishorn Port Limited (KPL) now hopes to further extend the dock to accommodate FPSOs of up to 250m.
A spokesperson for KPL said the group was “delighted” to be added to the approved list.
“This is another important step for the port in its development and expansion plans and will allow us to receive EU flagged floating oil and gas assets and shipping vessels for decommissioning and recycling within our dry dock.
“Our inclusion in the list is a reflection of the high environmental standards Kishorn has as a decommissioning facility and the robustness of our management and control systems. These were reflected in the successful decommissioning and recycling of the MV Kaami shipping vessel in 2020,” they added.
At the same time, KPL has eyes on securing work as part of the mammoth influx of offshore wind capacity secured under the ScotWind leasing round.
Bosses said last year that they were already in discussions with developers and other Scottish ports to ensure capacity is available ahead of ScotWind awards, and were aiming to have “developments on site to scale” by Q3 2022.
It has set out plans for new manufacturing, laydown, assembly and load out of offshore wind structures at the facility, alongside its day-to-day decommissioning and aquaculture operations.
Commenting on the re-approval of the Leith site, Dales Marine Services chief executive Michael Milne said the firm was “really pleased” to receive the news.
“Our Leith site has been providing vessel decommissioning for several years. Prior to the UK’s exit from the EU, we were on the European List of ship recycling facilities and re-applied shortly after exiting the EU. Having our services re-acknowledged following an application process that involved two independent site audits along with a third and final site inspection by members of the European Commission is good news for Dales Marine.
“The European Commission’s decision to include us ensures that we can continue to support EU-flagged vessels from Leith, Scotland.”
Dales Marine has worked on significant vessel decommissioning projects in the past, and during 2021/22 undertook a major project on the decommissioning of nuclear cargo vessel, the MV Oceanic Pintail.