Managing biofouling on infrastructure

Concrete gravity structures

Concrete gravity structures pose a risk of spreading marine pests when they are wet-towed from the build site to the installation site. The risk is highest when:

  • marine pests are present at or near the build site and the structure is to be deployed in shallow waters
  • the tow route includes port stopovers to fit more equipment.

Each unit requires development of an inspection, maintenance and control routine, tailored to the characteristics of the unit and its deployment. This should be developed during project design, contracting and inception.

Floating production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSO) and floating storage and offloading vessels (FSO)

These vessels are designed to service their field for long periods (5-10 years) and usually have no need to enter an Australian port, other than for an urgent or unscheduled maintenance need.

However, if the platform is moved to a port or to a coastal water location, then a biofouling management plan must be implemented that will minimise any risk of spreading marine pests.

Decommissioning, removal or abandonment

Decommissioning projects are subject to the following regulations:

  • the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 (P[SL] Act)
  • the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
  • the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 (EP[SD] Act)
  • relevant state/NT Acts depending on project location.

The Environment Plan/Environment Management Plan (EP/EMP) should include a biofouling risk assessment and appropriate management measures.