The reactor and stripper structure at the Clyde Refinery falls to Liberty Industrial

The reactor and stripper structure at the Clyde Refinery falls to Liberty Industrial

A 65m tall (213 ft), 1,500 tonne reactor and stripper previously used in the refining process has been demolished by Australian contractor Liberty Industrial using controlled explosive techniques. The unit was brought down as part of the Clyde Terminal Conversion Project, which involves the demolition and removal of redundant refining infrastructure, as well as other works to improve the environmental and operational performance of the Terminal. Liberty Industrial’s team has been systematically removing redundant infrastructure at the site in Rosehill, New South Wales, since January.

In the lead up to this demolition event, weeks of meticulous planning and consultation was undertaken by the project management team, working closely with the Australian Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Planning and WorkCover NSW. Using Extreme Loading for Structures demolition simulation software, the team were able to demonstrate to key stakeholders how the structure would react prior to executing the task.

Explosives were used to fragment four of the structure’s seven reinforced concrete foundations and force the structure to hinge over the remaining supports, collapsing the structure as planned.

Protection measures were employed to reduce the disbursement of debris caused by the explosive charges. Measures included both at source and secondary protection in the form of conveyor belting, chain link fencing and geotextile preventing damage to nearby facilities.

Project manager David Wall said the success of this latest induced collapse is a credit to the whole team. “Everyone played their part, from the oxy cutters who methodically carried out the structural pre-weakening to the explosives specialists - it’s a pleasure to work with such committed and professional individuals” he said.

Planning and preparations are under way for future, controlled explosive demolition events.

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