AF Offshore Decom, together with a consortium of several actors, has been awarded a total of 73 million Norwegian kroner from the Research Council for a research and innovation project on the circular economy of maritime metals. Through the Research Council’s “Green Platform” scheme, this is one of nine major research and innovation projects aimed at developing climate- and environmentally friendly solutions in business. The project period is three years.
Under the leadership of AF Offshore Decom the consortium will explore how to recycle maritime metal from ships and oil platforms into environmentally friendly building materials without a carbon footprint.
The Consortium led by AF Offshore Decom consist of partners from academia, research institutes and authorities as well as key players within finance, shipping, energy, property development, construction, and recycling industries. (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Equinor, Green Yards, DNB, LAB Entreprenør, Skanska Stålbabrikken, Bara, Statsbygg (The Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property), Sintef, Oslo Municipality, and Nordic Circles. The project has been awarded a total of 73 million Norwegian kroner from the Research Council for a three-year research and innovation project.
Circular economy is the future
-AF Offshore Decom has extensive experience in recycling decommissioned offshore installations. In total, approximately 400,000 tons of steel have been recycled, melted down and used for, among other things, reinforcing steel. The ambition of this project is to move from recycling to upcycling, says Johannes Thrane, Director of Sustainability, Communication and Tendering in AF Offshore Decom.
In the circular economy, the ideal is “upcycling”. This means that materials or components are maintained at the same or higher value than they had originally. For example, by cutting up steel from a ship and using it for load-bearing structures, sheet piles or other purposes.
Environmentally friendly building materials
The project aims to upcycle maritime metal from ships and oil platforms into environmentally friendly building materials without a carbon footprint. The project will solve challenges related to establishing the industry through circular business models, contracts for disposal, decommissioning for upcycling, testing and recertification, environmental and climate documentation for upcycled metal, and production with upcycled metal.
The ambition is to solve offshore disposal problems, highlight green initiatives, secure strategic access to steel for Norway in a time of international political unrest, reduce the need for raw material extraction in mines worldwide, and provide the construction and maritime industries with credible and scalable access to low-emission building materials.
The project has six main activities:
Circular economic assessment of the entire value chain.
Investigate opportunities to adapt disposal contracts for upcycling.
Develop scalable methods for dismantling steel from ships and platforms that enable high upcycling rates.
Develop industrialized production of building products made of maritime metal.
Make it easier for the construction industry to choose upcycled steel.
The starting point for a new industry.