Off-shore investment for Suffolk

AN oilfield drill cuttings plant based at Lowestoft has more than doubled its capacity following a £500,000 investment. NOV Brandt, the world's largest thermal processor of oilfield drill cuttings, the waste product from the oil drilling process, has invested in a second processor at its Lowestoft plant.

AN oilfield drill cuttings plant based at Lowestoft has more than doubled its capacity following a £500,000 investment.

NOV Brandt, the world's largest thermal processor of oilfield drill cuttings, the waste product from the oil drilling process, has invested in a second processor at its Lowestoft plant.

Lowestoft is seen as an “ideal” location for southern North Sea operations, with the short journey times from the offshore facilities provide cost and environmental savings.

The new, state-of-the-art processor, made at a NOV Brandt site in Nyborg, Denmark, also improves turnaround times for customers, as the inside undercover storage capacity for drill cuttings has been increased to a total of 2,400 tonnes.

The firm's staff contain the drills cuttings from the drilling process offshore, transport them back to its onshore treatment works, process the cuttings and dispose of the solids, water and oil. Currently, solids are sent to approved landfills, water is discharged in accordance with environmental licences and oil is reused in industrial processes.

“The result of such a significant investment in the Lowestoft plant has meant that major safety and operational enhancements have been put in place,” said a NOV Brandt spokesperson.

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“This includes the extension of the facility's central crane system, which has enabled its use over a wider coverage area. A further development for the facility has been the installation of two quayside transfer lines.

“Using Brandt's FreeFlow system, these lines allow for direct pneumatic transfer of offshore drill cuttings from supply vessels straight into the plant. This eliminates the need to use trucks or forklifts to transport cuttings containers - a major improvement in regards to safety and environmental impact.”