Leading Scottish Metal Recycler John Lawrie Metals Ltd has recently repurposed and exported over 2200 tonnes of used mooring systems acquired through the decommissioning of North Sea oil and gas assets. 

In 2020, John Lawrie repurposed approximately 3,700 tonnes of mooring material destined for recycling, which has helped save up to 3,589 tonnes CO2e. 
As was the industry norm, redundant wire rope was only ever cut up and recycled. But with an aim of zero to landfill, John Lawrie is focused on looking for new and innovative ways to repurpose the waste metal it handles. With a circular economy at the heart of everything the business does, repurpose and reuse is higher up the waste hierarchy and so recycling is only ever used as a last option. 

Over 50% of the 2200 tonnes came from the recent decommissioning of a North Sea FPSO and FSO mooring systems, carried out by John Lawrie’s expert Decom team.

The material is now destined for Northern Europe’s aquaculture industry where it will be used as weights and ballasts for the construction of fish farm pens, offering the perfect environmental and economic solution. Given the size and importance of the aquaculture industry, there is a requirement to maintain the quality and durability of these pens, ensuring they are weighted correctly for optimal production.  

Working with the fish farming industry, John Lawrie has been a key driver in the early development of this novel but effective solution and is steadily increasing its geographical reach and reputation for being a trusted supplier to the aquaculture industry.

Dave Weston, John Lawrie Metals MD, said: “We work closely with many North Sea operators and their supply chain to handle and process metal waste from their day-to-day operational activities and the onshore dismantling of offshore structures and subsea infrastructure. 

“We actively seek new ways for this material to be utilised; using secondary raw materials in new ways means the natural environment is being preserved as less ore is mined to create new steel products. We estimate that there is an approximate saving of around 30% of raw materials over recycling.

“But on top of the environmental saving, which is becoming ever more important as businesses work towards meeting industry and governmental net zero targets, we are creating opportunities within diversified markets. Reusing and repurposing material already in existence creates opportunities both in the UK and abroad, increasing environmental and economic value to all stakeholders. By repurposing waste from one industry as a solution to a challenge in another, emissions can virtually be eliminated by removing the need to recycle.”

John Lawrie Metals handles over 200,000 tonnes of metal every year across four locations in Aberdeen, Montrose, Evanton and Lerwick. All facilities are licensed, regulated and inspected by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and consistently receive excellent status compliance assessment reports.

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