Fish farm­ing of­fers se­cond life for un­wanted oil rigs

Fish Farmer - - News -

NOR­WE­GIAN off­shore ser­vices com­pany Roxel has come up with a plan to con­vert drilling plat­forms into ocean farms – and then back again if de­mand for oil and gas ex­plo­ration picks up, re­ported the In­sti­tu­tion of Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers.

‘There are many rigs that aren’t be­ing used,’ said Roxel’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Dag Mel­ing. ‘The beauty of our sys­tem is that it doesn’t de­stroy the as­set.’

The con­ver­sions will in­clude the re­moval of the der­rick from the rig, re­plac­ing it with a fish pro­cess­ing mod­ule that will be built on land. Such a mod­u­lar sys­tem makes it easy to re­verse the con­ver­sions, said Mel­ing.

The com­pany aims to farm North At­lantic salmon and trout off the coast of Nor­way by con­vert­ing jack-up rigs, which can be towed be­tween lo­ca­tions where they are fixed to the seabed.

Th­ese rigs are more sta­ble than float­ing plat­forms, hence bet- ter suited to aqua­cul­ture, said Mel­ing.

The rigs will be used to store feed for the farmed fish. The feed will be pumped into the fish ponds from where fish will be lifted onto the rig for count­ing, wash­ing and de­lous­ing.

By go­ing off­shore it will be pos­si­ble to build fish farms that pro­duce 10,00015,000 tonnes per year, said Mel­ing.

Fewer and fewer oil rigs are be­ing used, The North Sea alone has more than 550 plat­forms, which will be de­com­mis­sioned in the next 30 years.

Above: Oil rigs could be con­verted into fish farms

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