During a visit to Aberdeen, Paul Wheelhouse (pictured), Scottish minister for energy, revealed that the Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF) will reopen for a third round of funding.
DCF 3 will continue to support infrastructure upgrades at Scotland’s ports, innovation in retrieval and transport approaches, as well as supply chain projects that will strengthen Scottish decommissioning capabilities and capacities.
It can also support engineering scoping work, feasibility studies and business development at key sites to help to attract further private investment.
The Scottish government says that alongside the Decommissioning Action Plan, launched by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise at the end of 2016, the fund will help Scotland’s oil and gas sector make the most of decommissioning opportunities at home and abroad.
Wheelhouse said: “The Scottish government is committed to enhancing the capability of the Scottish supply chain, with funding and assistance available for projects that will contribute to making Scotland a world leader in decommissioning.
“We fully recognise that decommissioning is an emerging, but growing, activity in the North Sea.More than £17 billion is expected to be spent in the North Sea to 2025, with the peak for decommissioning activity in this area predicted to go beyond this.
“Scotland’s supply chain is winning the lion’s share of project value in areas like well-plugging and abandonment, but there is room to further increase market share in areas such as the salvage and disposal of top-side infrastructure.
“The budget for the DCF in 2018-19 will reflect the projects coming forward, and our ambition is to match the £5 million successfully awarded last year, however there is flexibility for this to increase if demand is demonstrated.”
Applications must be received by 28 September. A DCF Programme Board, drawn from government and industry, will oversee the delivery of the fund.