Steel appeal - RSA

Student Design Awards winners: Steel appeal

Brief 4: How might we apply circular economy principles to increase and encourage the reuse of steel from decommissioned oil platforms?


  • Scottish Kelp - Joshua Dale, University of Lincoln, England

Commended entry

Winner: Scottish Kelp

A proposal to convert decommissioned oil rigs into large-scale sustainable kelp farms and processing units.

Decommissioning of oil and gas platforms refers to the process of disassembling and removing the structures from the marine environment to reduce safety risks and environmental damage. As we move away from oil and gas extraction the cost to decommission these platforms is estimated at $82bn by 2027. ‘Scottish Kelp’ proposes that these rigs could be used to develop a growing and processing system for a Scottish based kelp industry. The jackets would be used to support large areas of kelp growth; the topsides converted into nurseries and processing units onshore. This would create jobs for rural communities and expand biodiversity in Scotland’s waters.

Joshua Dale

University of Lincoln, England

The Circular Design award of £2,000

Commended entry

Highly Commended

Move Tide

Jonathon Birch, Northumbria University, England

Move With The Tide: Repurposing steel from decommissioned oil rigs to convert tidal streams into subsidised energy for remote communities in Scotland.

In partnership:
Endorsed by:

Millions of tonnes of steel, copper, composites and other materials are due to be retrieved from marine environments as offshore decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure continues to gather pace. Finding sustainable, long term solutions for these a key driver for the industry.

CEO, Decom North Sea Sam Long