Decommissioning challenge fund expanded

Further support available for Scottish decommissioning projects.

An additional £5 million has been made available to the supply chain in Scotland to help maximise the economic benefit from the decommissioning of North Sea infrastructure.

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse announced the Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF) will reopen for a third round of funding during a visit to Aberdeen to meet the new CEOs of Decom North Sea and Aberdeen Harbour, John Warrender and Michelle Handforth.

Following grant awards of £4.8 million in 2017, the DCF 3 will continue to support infrastructure upgrades at Scotland’s ports, innovation in retrieval and transport approaches, as well as supply chain projects that will strengthen Scottish decommissioning capabilities and capacities. It can also support engineering scoping work, feasibility studies and business development at key sites to help to attract further private investment.

Alongside the Decommissioning Action Plan, launched by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise at the end of 2016, the fund will help Scotland’s oil and gas sector make the most of decommissioning opportunities at home and abroad.

Mr Wheelhouse said:

“I’m delighted that we can offer a third round of funding for decommissioning projects. This round of the DCF includes capital and resource funding, and widens its scope of potential projects with support now also available for business development.

“The Scottish Government is committed to enhancing the capability of the Scottish supply chain, with funding and assistance available for projects that will contribute to making Scotland a world leader in decommissioning. We fully recognise that decommissioning is an emerging, but growing, activity in the North Sea.  More than £17 billion is expected to be spent in the North Sea to 2025, with the peak for decommissioning activity in this area predicted to go beyond this. Scotland’s supply chain is winning the lion’s share of project value in areas like well-plugging and abandonment, but there is room to further increase market share in areas such as the salvage and disposal of top-side infrastructure. 

“The budget for the DCF in 2018-19 will reflect the projects coming forward, and our ambition is to match the £5 million successfully awarded last year, however there is flexibility for this to increase if demand is demonstrated.” 



Applications for the DCF 3 are now being accepted and must be received by 28 September 2018.

A DCF Programme Board, drawn from government and industry will oversee the delivery of the fund.

Previously supported projects of the DCF:

  • Hunterston Marine Yard feasibility studies
  • 1200 tonne heavy-lift crane, OilMac, Port of Dundee
  • Upgrade and improvements of dry dock gates and infrastructure facilities at Kishorn Port
  • Going Full Circle – Dales Marine, new dry dock gates and operating system
  • Energy Park Fife Decommissioning Facility at Methil
  • Understanding and Developing the Chemical Analytical Capabilities: James Hutton Ltd
  • Stornoway Port Decommissioning Projects
  • Increased capacity of equipment for temporary/reusable steelwork at Lerwick Engineering & Fabrication Ltd
  • Tubular cutting tool development, Downhole Energy Ltd
  • EMN Plant Ltd, Decommissioning Services
  • Lyness oil and gas decommissioning base, Orkney Islands Council.
  • The OGTC – Support for the National Decommissioning Centre of Excellance


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