This week in the northeast of Scotland, an immersive simulation suite that promises to transform approaches to offshore decommissioning and installation in the North Sea was officially unveiled.
The simulation suite is located at the National Decommissioning Centre (NDC), a global research and development hub based in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, which is a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and the Net Zero Technology Centre.
The £1.6 million suite has been funded jointly by the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the Net Zero Technology Centre through the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
According to the University of Aberdeen, the suite can undertake detailed marine technology and operational simulations as well as complex data modeling and visualization.
"These advanced capabilities provide a safe, virtual environment where users can simulate offshore and subsea operations in real time, such as the removal or installation of energy infrastructure, deploying a range of equipment and vessels to see which are best suited to the task and introducing challenging factors such as variable weather and tidal conditions," reads the press note released by the university.
Debut at floating wind project
The first funded project to use the simulator is assessing novel techniques for the installation of anchor systems for offshore floating wind turbines.
The project, which is being carried out in collaboration with the local company Aubin, aims to provide more cost-effective anchor installation methods.
Also, NDC staff is building a virtual model of the entire North Sea, mapping all offshore oil and gas and renewable infrastructure and compiling key information such as lifespan, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and power usage, "to deliver cross-industry benefits for a wide range of stakeholders."
Aberdeen City Council Leader Cllr Jenny Laing, Vice-Chair of Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee, said: "This is a hugely exciting time for the transitioning oil and gas industry. The launch of the immersive simulation suite, funded by the Aberdeen City Region Deal, will allow us to seize and accelerate opportunities to secure work and therefore jobs and skills in this region."