The Highlands and Islands boasts world-leading expertise in decommissioning – both in the North Sea oil and gas sector, and also in nuclear clean-up.
Dounreay in Caithness is recognised internationally as one of the most complex nuclear decommissioning challenges in Europe, whilst the break-up of the North Sea’s aging oil and gas infrastructure is expected to be a 30-year, £50 billion industry.
The skills and enterprise fostered by both sectors are giving Scottish companies a platform to compete on the European and global stage.
Shetland has already established a significant early foothold in the emergent oil and gas decommissioning market – a multi-billion pound opportunity poised for large-scale growth in the next few years. In what will be a competitive landscape, with facilities in Norway, Holland and Teesside all seeking to secure work, the Northern Isles have an ideal combination of deep water, experience and skills to take a major slice of the growing market.
Meanwhile the Dounreay facility in Caithness on Scotland’s north coast, led the world in fast reactor research and development from 1955 to 1994 and is now Europe’s largest nuclear clean-up and demolition project.
The site employs around 850 people, with a similar number working for other companies on site closure sub-contracts. Decommissioning Dounreay represents 10 per cent of the Caithness and North Sutherland workforce and gives the area unrivalled expertise in a specialised field.
For further details, please see the pages on Caithness and North Sutherland, and Shetland, which both have links to further information on the decommissioning projects happening in those areas.