Pipeline decommissioning specialist Decom Engineering has opened a new facility in Aberdeenshire and thrown down the gauntlet with a ‘chopsaw challenge’.
Decom has invested over £250,000 to set up a base at Potterton, near Dyce, to be closer to North Sea oil and gas clients and plans to create up to ten new roles in the coming years.
Headquartered in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, the company has developed a range of cold cuttings saws, as well as a pipe coating removal system capable of removing multiple coating types from decommissioned or surplus pipelines which it says is “the fastest and greenest process on the market.”
Its new 6,000 square feet facility will be used for equipment testing and storage, hosting customer trial days, and will enable faster deployment of assets and services to the company’s clients working in the UK North Sea.
To support the expansion, it also intends to recruit up to ten staff in Aberdeen over the next two years, including sales and business development roles, project engineers and technicians.
CEO Sean Conway said the firm was delighted to extend its footprint, building on its existing capabilities in the Netherlands and headquarters in Belfast.
“This investment gives us a platform for significant growth in 2022 and beyond by offering more direct and speedier access to existing North Sea clients and a large number of potential new customers who operate in the UKCS and international oil and gas markets,” Mr Conway added.
The company says it is already seeing a return on investment. “Previously, we would have to hire premises to host technology demonstrations, but the clients visiting Potterton are benefitting from this greater flexibility which better suits their requirements,” he continued.
“The ability to store our own equipment closer to clients’ operations and to have it at the ready for faster deployment is a real bonus, and it will be an important factor in building on our reputation as a reliable and responsive provider of decommissioning solutions.”
To mark the expansion, Decom Engineering has also issued a ‘chopsaw challenge’, promising that its machinery will cut through materials which may have defeated other cutting solutions.
The company has already hosted several client open days in Aberdeen to showcase the technology’s capabilities, which are capable of conducting a “clean cut” through materials ranging from 2-24 inches, including steel pipes with a range of problematic coatings and subsea conditions.
Operations director Nick McNally explained: “We are encouraging companies which have redundant piping infrastructure, and who may have had problems sourcing an appropriate cutting solution, to get in touch.
“Our chop saws are capable of working in the harshest working conditions on varying pipe diameters and material composition. We are confident they are capable of clean-cutting through the most challenging materials, regardless of the coating the pipeline is encased in.”
In addition, Decom says its pipe coating removal system offers a sustainable solution in the decommissioning process. Removing the protective coating leaves the steel underneath for re-use, offering a significantly lower cost and carbon footprint compared with new steel.
“We can demonstrate on-site how ageing pipelines can be cut to order then stripped of multiple coatings in preparation for use on other construction projects. This not only reduces carbon emissions by limiting the transportation of redundant pipeline infrastructure, but it returns a value to the asset owner which often remains locked up in redundant and unwanted pipelines,” added Mr McNally.
The company’s technologies have already seen success in international decommissioning projects, and it now supplies operations in the UK, Europe, US, Asia and beyond.
A recent hat-trick of contract wins worth over £400,000 includes a six-month campaign in the Gulf of Thailand, where Decom will undertake a 1,000-cut programme to allow the removal of subsea pipelines in water depths of up to 100 metres.