Historic Breakthrough for Marine Conservation: EODEX UK Clears Over 80 Offshore Munitions in the Moray Firth
Posted 17/11/2023 06:26
Offshore disposal specialists, EODEX UK, have achieved a groundbreaking milestone in marine conservation by successfully removing more than 80 offshore munitions from the Moray Firth. The operation, conducted for the Moray West offshore wind farm, marks the largest collection of munitions handled on a single wind farm development. The Moray West project, developed by Ocean Winds—a joint venture between ENGIE and EDP Renewables—is located approximately 30–36 kilometers off Lithuania’s Baltic Sea coast.
EODEX UK employed a low-order deflagration technique, in collaboration with Alford Technologies, to clear the explosives with a 100% success rate. This method avoids environmentally damaging High Order detonations, known for causing dramatic noise and shock waves that historically harm marine habitats up to 35km away.
Actress and activist Dame Joanna Lumley, who led the 'Stop Sea Blasts' campaign, praised the success of the operation and urged lawmakers and regulators to embrace alternatives to disruptive detonations.
The cleared Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) items, including Naval projectiles, Anti-Submarine weapons, influence Sea Mines, and Air Dropped weapons, ranged from both World Wars. Notably, the clearance included a 2,200lb Luftmine B influence Sea Mine, cleared using low-order deflagration—a historic achievement in commercial disposal.
The operation, conducted from January to September, involved independent noise monitoring, revealing that the low-order deflagration technique was quieter than expected. All scrap debris and waste were safely removed from the seabed without leaving explosive residue, and post-site analysis showed no damage to the seabed.
Pete Geddes, Project Director for the Moray West offshore wind farm, expressed satisfaction with EODEX's environmentally safe UXO clearance, emphasizing the reduction of potential environmental harm.
Simon Morgan, Chief Executive of EODEX, called the achievement a historic breakthrough, advocating for the adoption of low-order clearance techniques to replace traditional High Order detonations.
Dame Joanna Lumley hailed the success as a glowing testament to progress and encouraged regulators to expedite the development of stricter rules and guidance for underwater munition clearance.
The groundbreaking operation highlights the potential for low-order deflagration as a reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly method for offshore munition disposal.