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John Lawrie to build Montrose decommissioning base

© Supplied by Due North Creativesjohn lawrie montrose decommissioning
CHAIN REACTION: Julian Foley and Dave Weston, both of JLM, with MPA chief executive Tom Hutchison at Montrose.

John Lawrie Metals (JLM), of Aberdeen, is to build an oil and gas infrastructure decommissioning facility in Montrose.

Announcing a 12-year lease for the site, Montrose Port Authority (MPA) said the new operation on the harbour’s South Quay would help meet demand in the North Sea.

Waste management and environmental permits from the Scottish Government will allow the facility to handle and process all types of materials produced during decommissioning.

MPA highlighted direct quayside access, together with “ease of discharge and handover of client materials” as major selling points for the site.

There is also the potential to ship direct from the port with little or no road transportation required, so reducing the overall carbon footprint of the operation.

For JLM, part of metal reprocessing, tubular supply and decommissioning company John Lawrie Group (JLG), its latest project is part of a wider growth strategy that also takes in an expansion of decommissioning capabilities at Aberdeen harbour.

JLM and MPA have a long-standing working relationship spanning more than 30 years, while another JLG subsidiary regularly uses the port for receiving and shipping steel tubulars.

Dave Weston, managing director of JLM, said: “Having worked with Montrose Port for some time now, we are pleased to have secured this agreement – which means we can offer the energy industry a comprehensive decommissioning service.

“Having a facility directly on the quayside will make for a more efficient and streamlined operation.”

MPA chief executive Tom Hutchison said: “We are delighted to welcome John Lawrie Metals to the port as a permanent tenant and I’m particularly pleased to be able to continue the diversification of the port estate into the now expanding decommissioning sector.

“We are ideally positioned at Montrose to be a hub for all offshore activities due to our close road links to the Central Belt and Aberdeen, as well as the short passage to many of the major North Sea oil and gas fields.

“We are also Europe’s biggest chain and anchor port, meaning we already have experience and capability for heavy lifting and storage on the quayside.”

MPA said the ambitious project underlined its commitment to supporting the “energy transition”, not only through aiding the creation of a new era of renewable energy infrastructure but also through “responsibly dismantling and recycling the oil and gas infrastructure of yesteryear”.

It added: “John Lawrie Metals’ aim of ‘zero to landfill’ keeps the decommissioned materials in the circular economy – a vitally key component of the port’s carbon-neutral strategy.”

Major renewables projects secured by MPA in recent years include the Seagreen offshore wind farm operations and maintenance base, which is currently under construction on the port’s South Quay and due for completion by the end of 2021.

JLG – founded in 1930 by metal merchant John Lawrie – has operations in Aberdeen, Montrose, Evanton near Invergordon, and Houston in the US.

In 2019 – the last year for which accounts are publicly available – the group turned over nearly £100 million.

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