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Subcon has a long, trusted working relationship with regulators, governments, world-leading scientists and operators and most importantly, with the communities which rely on our reefs. We pride ourselves on using best practice scientific methods and public engagement to ensure maximised environmental and community benefits from all of our reef developments.

Artificial reefs are purpose built structures installed in aquatic environments (marine, estuarine, river or lake) for the purpose of creating, restoring or enhancing habitat for fish, fishing and other recreational activities. Artificial reefs mimic the characteristics of natural reefs by creating new habitats and providing shelter, feeding opportunities and varied changes to the water column.

“Artificial reefs provide a complex habitat for a range of different species. Once algae, corals and invertebrates make themselves at home, they produce additional biomass in the food chain, creating a food source for fish and other species”, Recfishwest Research Officer James Florisson.

Whilst the reefing of retiring offshore structures makes sense to many, such projects often struggle to address the regulatory hurdles, public perception and who takes the enduring liability for the asset. The Integrated Rigs to Reefs (IR2R) solution resolves the many challenges owners face by augmenting and integrating the retiring assets into purpose built reefs.

IR2R is a decommissioning solution which provides many benefits to governments, local industries, communities stakeholders and ultimately to the environment. The IR2R solution delivers material cost savings to operators whilst enabling them to turn a legacy asset into a positive legacy for the environment.

While the traditional rigs to reef solution has a proven track record for generating decommissioning cost savings and for creating effective habitat, the question of who has enduring liability for the structure remains open. The IR2R model employs methods of repurposing, relocation, augmentation and integration to completely reinvent the retired structures as productive, purpose built artificial reefs. Ownership and liability for the new asset is then able to be transferred to appropriate government agencies.


Subcon has previously repurposed assets that have had no hydrocarbon interaction during their design life. This includes structures as mid-water depth buoys which are then re-deployed with purpose built reef modules to provide a producing reef for local fishing communities.

Subcon has been designing, fabricating and installing offshore reefs since 2014. Since the first reefs were deployed, Subcon has worked with universities and 3rd party researchers to monitor the production of the reefs. The results of this monitoring are then incorporated into future reef designs.

Subcon has completed the first IR2R in Australia, complying with a highly stringent regulatory environment. This solution is tailored to regions where there is both a high value market for recreational and commercial fishing, recreational fishing and high decommissioning costs.

Subcon has significant experience liaising with regulatory, government and community stakeholders. Subcon has successfully drafted government permits for all of their reefs that have been deployed in the ocean.

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