There is an increasing drive towards a circular economy, in the UK and elsewhere around the world. To make that a reality, there need to be better recycling facilities to ensure that resources aren’t unnecessarily wasted.
One thing that can be difficult to recycle is offshore infrastructure, such as platforms that are used for energy generation and aquaculture.
However, the BBC recently reported that development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting plans to bring one of Europe’s biggest dry docks back into use, with recycling offshore structures one of the things it’s intending to do.
Kishorn in the West Highlands was initially established in the 1970s, but now it could have a new purpose. Under the proposals, Liberty Steel hopes to be able to make new steel by using the metal recovered from decommissioned structures.
In addition to cleaning up the site as part of the refurbishment, a new road leading to the dock was also created.
Director of energy and low carbon at HIE Audrey MacIver described the dock as having “huge potential”.
“It would be great to see it coming to life again, providing valuable rural jobs, contributing to both economic and community growth and the wider competitiveness of the region,” she stated.
This could also encourage more organisations to look into how metal recycling plants can benefit the economy.
One expert recently stressed the importance of metal recycling within the economy, noting that the demand for materials such as copper, zinc, nickel and aluminium can’t be met from mining alone.
Dr Yves Plancherel, of the Grantham Institute, revealed that we could see demand for certain metals climb up to ten times in the coming decade.