Energy And the Waterfront
THE WATERFRONT IS THE GATEWAY TO IRISH SEA OFFSHORE OIL, GAS, WIND DEVELOPMENTS AND NEW LOW CARBON TECHNOLOGIES EMERGING IN THE 2020s AND 2030s.
The East Irish Sea has huge energy resources potentially serviceable from Barrow Waterfront.
Oil, gas and wind operations have been serviced since 1979 both from the port and at the Rampside Road onshore gas terminals operated by Chrysaor and Spirit Energy, there is also a condensate tank farm at the port.
Wind power electricity generation started in 2006.Today Barrow port has the largest cluster of windfarm O and M bases on the UK’s West Coast. The 5 bases employ clustered around Ramsden Dock Road. around 340 people making the complex one of the biggest sources of employment in the Furness area.
Both activities have led to significant additional business being generated at adjacent to and in Barrow Waterfront And in the port area.
Offshore gas provides the low carbon baseline energy resource.
Rounds 30 and 31 of oil and gas licencing offer prospects of new discoveries.in addition Port Meridian offshore SPM LNG tanker unloading offers scope for import of liquefied natural gas into the UK gas grid through Barrow onshore terminals.
The map below shows the 31st Round licenced areas.
All these proposals would capitalise on the gas pipeline infrastructure, existing processing terminal facilities at Barrow and highly skilled people who operate them or those who are involved in oil, gas, subsea equipment and process plant design, manufacture and operation in companies based locally.
Key suppliers include companies such as Worley-Parsons, One Subsea, Siemens Subsea, Tritech international, SN Group
Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Lease Bidding Round 4 announcement in September 2019 offers the prospect of new offshore wind developments in the 2020s that could be serviced from the port of Barrow and the nearby Sandscale Heliport.
The map below shows the extent of the area open to applications
The memorandum describing then opportunity can be seen at The Crown Estate, Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4’s key document: https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/3379/tce-r4-information-memorandum-print.pdf
As gas reserves and fields become depleted there is potential for Carbon Capture Storage, re-using some of the offshore assets. The East Irish Sea Basin (EISB) is a prospective area for CCS in the western UKCS, with a CO2 storage potential to store over 1.7 Gt. CCSR in depleted gas fields which have large traps containing CO2 like Rhyl and North Morecambe in the East Irish Sea, connected to an active CO2 gas processing plant that already exists at Barrow may be a development option.
These could perhaps sit alongside “gas to wire” options identified in Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) report: “Gas to wire: UK SNS & EIS” of September 2018.
Furness could also explore “gas to wire” hub concepts similar to that Vattenfall is involved with at Brunsbuttel, Germany. Hydrogen / electrolysis technologies, being explored by EDF at Heysham with Lancaster University and tidal generation off the Isle of Man offer other future potential energy resource, could all be serviced from Barrow Waterfront.