UK chemical clear up nears completion

By Lindsay Gale18 May 2010

EDS and RVA combined forces to clear the Nufarm agrochemical site at Belvedere, UK

EDS and RVA combined forces to clear the Nufarm agrochemical site at Belvedere, UK

The demolition and clean-up of a former agrochemical production facility in Belvedere, UK, is almost complete following a year of demolition and remediation work. Nufarm UK Ltd, owners of the site, decided to close the plant and to concentrate their UK activities at Wyke, near Bradford.

Safety during the site clearance was paramount. According to Nufarm European operations manager Wigbold Nieuwenhuis: "Having made the decision to progress to demolition, our primary concern throughout has been for the safety of all operatives."

"The project has also required intense planning and stringent management to minimise disruption to the numerous commercial properties bordering the site. Continuous effective liaison with neighbouring occupants and public services has ensured everyone has remained in the communication loop."

Specialist consultant RVA Group started work on the project as early as March 2009 when it worked with Nufram to assess the most commercially viable option, in terms of selling the site with all equipment intact or clearing it first. Once it was determined that demolition was the best option, it then worked with Nufram concerning decontamination best practice, assisted with isolation strategies and audited compliance.

The physical demolition work was carried out by main contractor EDS, who conducted asbestos removal, decontamination, dismantling, demolition and full site clearance. This consisted of a mix of 30 structures of brick, steel and timber construction.

EDS used three demolition excavators and a single high reach, a Komatsu PC450, throughout the duration of the project. In addition, crane operations were a major feature of the job, with a total of 15 crane working days, with a maximum of three cranes on site at once.

All the concrete, brick and blockwork was recycled for use within a five mile radius of the site, totalling 1,800 tonnes. A further 1,160 of ferrous and non-ferrous metals was also recovered for recycling. In all a recycling rate of 92% was achieved for the project.

One feature of the project was the often simultaneous nature of the work. To illustrate this, RVA managing director Richard Vann said: "When heavy demolition of the three-storey steel frame chlorination building began, the meticulous recovery of 10 high value chemical reactors was underway on the site."

"This delicate and precise asset recovery operation was carried out by a specialist team of dismantlers working to RVA-approved methodology. The greatest degree of care, co-ordination and concentration was necessary to ensure that the vessels were salvaged without damage, for installation at Nufram UK's Wyke plant."

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