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Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering – Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesNews and Events

Susan Gourvenec highlights urgent global safety challenge of decommissioning offshore structures and ships in article published in The Engineer

Published: 11 January 2022
global safety challenge

IROE Chair, Susan Gourvenec discusses “Obsolete ships and offshore structures – an urgent safety challenge” in a blog published in The Engineer on 11 January 2022.

Susan notes that “the global shipping fleet numbers over 50,000 vessels and supports 90% of world trade and there are currently more than 10,000 offshore structures installed in our oceans and seas, providing energy from hydrocarbons to renewable resources. Yet, despite the global benefit derived from offshore structures and ships during their operational lives, the risks associated with their decommissioning are disproportionately focused on South Asia.”

In 2020, 70% of the world’s end-of-life ships and floating offshore structures were decommissioned on three beaches in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Susan led the blog in her role as board member of the Engineering X Safer End of Engineered Life (SEEL) Programme and Lead for the Safer Decommissioning Offshore Structures and Ships theme.

The initiative sets out to improve safety of decommissioning offshore structures and ships in those places where unsafe practices are most prevalent and present the greatest threat to safety of the workforce and the environment. Since launching in January 2019 with a global workshop, the Safer Decommissioning Offshore Structures and Ships mission has focused on building partnerships and communities, and on funding projects to tackle some of the critical safety issues that were highlighted at the workshop. Current projects are addressing issues such as transparency in ship recycling, a global baseline of assets to be decommissioned and infrastructure and regulatory frameworks available, regionally specific requirements for the ASEAN region, and the rights of affected communities and workers.

The Engineering X SEEL mission is planning a second global workshop in 2022 to identify future safety challenges in decommissioning offshore structures and ships as our societies and economies transition to offshore renewable energy and future – greener – liquid fuels for shipping. Watch the website for more information if you are keen to get involved.

You can read the full article here

Offshore decommissioning
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