The Buchan Alpha oil production vessel has arrived safely in Lerwick, Shetland for disposal.
It is believed to be the first major North Sea floating production facility to be disposed of in Scotland.
A semi-submersible moored floating production vessel, weighing 12,000 tonnes, Buchan Alpha was built in 1973 as a drilling rig and converted for production purposes in Stornoway between 1978-80.
The vessel commenced production in 1981 from the Buchan field, located in blocks 21/1A and 20/5A, and has subsequently also produced the nearby Hannay field. Production ceased, as planned, on 12 May 2017 having produced around 148 million barrels of oil.
The contract for disposal was internationally tendered and awarded to Veolia working with their strategic partner in decommissioning, Peterson. The work will be carried out at the Dales Voe site in Lerwick.
Off-station work on Buchan Alpha has been ongoing, with the primary objectives of cleaning, and reducing topsides weight in preparation for tow. It will initially be moored offshore Lerwick in deeper water where the thrusters will be removed to reduce the draught, allowing it to be moved to the quayside within the next few weeks.
Veolia will then begin the dismantling of the steel structure to maximise the recycling rate with the aim of achieving 98% recycling rates.
Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President, Veolia UK & Ireland said: “We are expecting a growth in the decommissioning market and the Buchan Alpha contract is a significant example of this type of the potential expansion of this sector in Scotland.
“These offshore assets will now be recycled to give them a second, third or even fourth life creating jobs and investment in the local economy.”
14 Aug 2017