Offshore & Special vessels

The offshore industry operates rigs and platforms for drilling production and accommodation, and a fleet of support and special vessels.

Offshore & Special

There is a huge variety of rigs and vessel types. Some are fixed in position and some are mobile. Support and special vessels either make very short trips to and from a rig or they spend many months of research in Arctic areas.

The responsibility for the logistics related to waste handling are different in different regions, but normally involve owners or operators or both.

A huge variety of solid and liquid waste streams are generated, including waste oil from engine rooms, black water, grey water, bilge water, sewage, dry waste, food and galley waste, and others. All the waste needs to be handled – initially onboard the rig or ship and later on shore.

The offshore industry is subject to national regulations regarding safety and environment, which include waste management. Regions with special regulations include the North Sea, GOM (US, Mexico, etc.), Australia, Brazil, Alaska, and Shtokman field (Russia).

Dry waste handling on rigs and platforms

For fixed platforms, jack-up rigs, semi-submersibles, drillships, TLPs, FPSOs and floatels dry waste can be divided into three categories: waste from drilling (only drilling rigs), production waste and waste generated by accommodation. Key issues are space and logistics.

All equipment must offer outstanding reliability and be delivered with spare parts since parts ordered from shore can take time to arrive. Any kind of downtime costs huge sums and is one of the industry’s biggest fears.

Waste is today typically stored in compacting containers. These containers are transported when full from the rig and empty back to the rig.

In a modern waste management system, dry waste is separated into fractions onboard the rig to allow for recycling, and the volume is reduced by shredding and compaction. Waste handling from ship/rig to port/waste station is optimized using only Big Bags to transport the different fractions. The result is a major reduction in the number of containers required and a drastic reduction in logistics costs.

High costs can typically be related to:

  • Required space onboard
  • Cost for disposal of waste ashore
  • Cost for transport ashore of waste from rig
  • Cost for labour onboard the rig

Dry waste handling on support and special vessels

On PSVs, AHTSs, MPVs, CSVs, seismic vessels, windmill installation vessels and research vessels, a large amount of space can be saved and waste disposal costs substantially reduced by means of a modern dry waste handling system. The waste is separated into fractions onboard and its volume reduced by up to 90% by shredding and compaction.

Food waste on rigs and platforms

On fixed platforms an efficient food and galley waste handling system will eliminate the need to transport some food waste and enable controlled, hygienic and easy handling.

Food waste is collected and ground where it is produced. Thus the work for the crew is minimized and proper hygiene is maintained in the galley. If the rig is more than 12 nautical miles from land and the food waste is ground to <25 mm, discharge is permitted in many areas. Food waste that cannot be ground must be transported to land.

In areas with zero discharge policies, the food waste can be collected in a holding tank.
Semi-submersibles, jack-up rigs, TLPs drillships, FPSOs and floatels will move occasionally requiring them to change their procedures for food waste handling on regular basis. A food waste system with holding tank will allow for improved handling and better control of discharges.

Food waste handling on support and special vessels

MPVs and research vessels have more people onboard and spend longer time at sea. Such vessels will benefit from the installation of a complete food and galley waste system.

Installing a macerator to grind food waste and a holding tank will make the vessel future-proof in terms of future operating profile or changes in environmental or port regulations.

Central vacuum cleaning

On rigs and ships vacuum cleaning is made simple and convenient by means of a labour-saving central vacuum cleaning system, which also ensures a healthy dust-free atmosphere onboard.

Waste handling solutions from Uson Marine

Uson Marine designs, configures and supplies advanced waste handling solutions for offshore applications. These enable owners and operators of offshore rigs, platforms, support vessels and special vessels to reduce the cost and simplify the logistics of waste handling and disposal. Uson’s solutions can easily be retrofitted into existing rigs and vessels.

Uson also offers a professional consultancy service for clients considering investing in modern, environmentally friendly waste management systems for newbuildings or for retrofitting into existing rigs or ships.