Europe’s first specially designed recycling facility for ships and offshore structures has been established in a Danish harbour

Mars top

Europe’s first specially designed recycling facility M.A.R.S. in Port of Frederikshavn, Denmark. Photo: Port of Frederikshavn

When the enormous platforms from the North Sea arrived at Port of Frederikshavn last week, it wasn’t to end their days in a landfill. The platforms are going to EU’s most environmentally friendly and specially designed recycling facility, which has been established by the American company Modern American Recycling Services (M.A.R.S), with Danish advisor NIRAS as partner.

August 21, 2020
  • SDG: #9, #12
  • SECTORS: Ports & Marine, Environment and Ecology
  • COUNTRIES: Denmark

Behind the new recycling plant stands Modern American Recycling Services Europe, abbreviated M.A.R.S. Two accommodation- and process platforms from the Tyra gas Field recently arrived at Port of Frederikshavn in the Northern region of Denmark. 

Tyra Field is the largest gas field in the Danish Sector of the North Sea. Their two platforms, Tyra East of 14,000 tons and Tyra West of 8,000 tons have reached end of life and are to be decommissioned and recycled. Approx. 95% of the platforms are expected to be reused.

The American company aimed at establishing the world’s most environmentally friendly and competitive recycling plant at a strategic location in the EU, and consequently directed their focus towards the Port of Frederikshavn. M.A.R.S. selected NIRAS as their environmental advisor for the project.

NIRAS’ assignment was to unite the client’s practical and functional needs with a way in which to drive the business with minimal environmental impact. This required several authoritative permits and required several innovative solutions, which NIRAS in cooperation with M.A.R.S., the Port of Frederikshavn, and the Municipality of Frederikshavn managed to realise.

Giant site

The facility constitutes a 90-metre-wide ship ramp and a 9,000marea specially designed for large and heavy offshore structures. The entire recycling facility and associated hinterland areas spreads 290,000m2 – the equivalent of 40 soccer fields. The site has been tailored to meet M.A.R.S.’ specific needs and was established as part of the ongoing vast expansion of port of Frederikshavn.

The giant area enables the company to receive the largest ships and offshore structures and to dismantle, recycle and pile steel and handle waste fractions on site. The site also enables storage of assets from these prior to re-entering the market. This ensures a unique competitive production process, as the facility design allows for multiple projects to proceed simultaneously.

frederikshavn MARS
Photo: Port of Frederikshavn

New standards for decommissioning 

About NIRAS’ contribution

In addition to the authoritative work for the establishment of the recycling facility itself and assistance to M.A.R.S in the process, NIRAS has designed and calculated the water diversion system in the site area and the water treatment plant including the two buffer tanks with a combined volume of 5,700m3. NIRAS   tendered the water treatment plant and supervised the execution.

Denmark and the EU have strict environmental regulations. NIRAS have investigated relevant requirements for decommissioning and recycling. They also attained all necessary permits, to enable M.A.R.S. to run their business in Port of Frederikshavn in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner. The facility was adopted on the EU’s lists of responsible recycling plants in late 2018.

Many challenges exist when receiving, deconstructing, and recycling ships and decommissioned discarded offshore structures in an environmentally sustainable manner. We’re talking enormous structures and complicated work processes. To manage this in the most environmentally sound way, M.A.R.S. will execute rigorous mapping and will devise specific recycling plans for each ship and structure before commencing the work operations. The company hereby ensures, that all waste fractions are handled and managed correctly, both out of concern for the environment and from a work environment perspective.

Tyra Set Nedefra

Rain- and wastewater management

About M.A.R.S.

Modern American Recycling Services Europe (M.A.R.S.) is an American company founded in 1971 with headquarters in Gibson, Louisiana. M.A.R.S. specialises in recycling ships and offshore structures. M.A.R.S.’ plant in Port of Frederikshavn is the first of its kind in Europe.

M.A.R.S. has been rewarded the assignment to recycle the two decommissioned production platforms from the Tyra East and West Field in the North Sea owned by Total.

M.A.R.S. was delivered the recycling facility at the Port of Frederikshavn on 1st of January 2020 and expects to be fully operational during 2020. 200 employees are expected to be hired for the operations.

By incorporating sustainable solutions from the beginning, NIRAS, together with the Port site construction advisor, contributed to ensure deliverables beyond just a functional recycling facility plant. Specific surface water management has been included in the scope of deliverables, which has ensured membraning of the entire site area. A tailored water collection and handling system together with treatment of surface water, meet the environmental demands.

NIRAS has designed a water treatment plant, to handle the large amounts of surface water from the site. The treatment plant includes two large-scale buffer tanks and a chemical water treatment unit. The treatment ensures that metals, heavy metals, and other pollutants will not harm the waterbody, as pollutants are cleaned to comply with strict environmental demands.

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