Seaway Heavy Lifting (A Subsea 7 company) Case Study

Sector: Marine and offshore
Equipment: Gobi 100 Food Waste Dryer

The backstory

Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) is a global leader in the transportation of offshore structures and has a fleet of heavy lift crane ships – some weighing over 24,000 tonnes – which facilitate the installation of below-surface infrastructure for platforms, exploration, drilling, and wind turbines.

The challenge

With hundreds of workers on board – which are catered for with three meals per day – there is naturally some waste that comes from food preparation and post-consumer plate scraps. And due to the complex nature of offshore projects, it’s not uncommon for these types of ships to spend a long time working in one location, so it can also be weeks before a platform supply vessel (PSV) arrives to collect the waste for onshore disposal.

Therefore, storing food waste on board has to be done carefully, so that it does not become a biohazard – as well as not taking up too much room on a vessel where space is already at a premium.

In addition, the marine sector is subject to strict controls on pollution – governed by The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from (MARPOL) – and over the years, regulations have become stricter on how food waste can and can’t be disposed of. So, MARPOL compliance also had to be taken into account.

Therefore, the offshore project firm needed a compact, on-board food-waste-drying solution that would allow them to safely sterilise and dehydrate organic waste, enabling it to be stored on the vessel for long periods without putrefaction.

The solution

The company invested in a Gobi 100 Food Waste Dryer to dry out the food waste generated on board and convert it into a dried, inert material – resembling coffee grinds – that can be stored for months without degrading or causing odour issues. As a result, it doesn’t take up valuable space in the onboard chillers – that can instead be used for storing fresh foods – and it can easily be disposed of at port when the vessel returns.

The ship has now gone from producing five cubic meters of fermenting food waste every month, to a cubic metre of a gravy-granule-like, energy-rich substitute, that can be sent for composting or anaerobic digestion when back on land.