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Chemical Plant Decontamination and Demolition

Chemical Plant Decontamination and Demolition

Chemical and pharmaceutical plant decontamination and demolition services.

  • CDM Principal Contractor Experience
  • Shut Down Project Management Specialists
  • Chemical decontamination prior to demolition
  • Ground remediation of the demolished plant
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Chemical Plant Decontamination and Demolition

  • Qualitech has vast experience in providing decontamination, demolition and shut down services.
  • Qualitech’s experienced team have managed decontamination, demolition and shut down work for companies such as National Grid, Unilever, Ineos, BAE, Royal Mint, Perkins Engines, Shell, Total UK, Esso, ConocoPhillips.

Some before and during pictures of a tank removal project.

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Timelapse video of a building removal for one of our clients which involved the decontamination of the building and removal of the old plant before demolition.

Qualitech have recently completed a project on an abandoned pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, the details of the project are below.

Summary

QES has recently completed a unique challenge on behalf of the client at an abandoned API Manufacturing facility in North Wales.  Due to the sudden winding up of the business by the former owners it became the responsibility of the client to deal with the significant problem of clearing the site of all chemicals and making it safe and ready for sale. 

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QES has a proven track record in the decontamination and remediation of complex chemical facilities in the UK and Europe.  On this site similar conditions existed, but due to the site’s abandonment, there was very limited information available in relation to the significant quantities of flammable and toxic chemicals present.  However, by far the greatest challenge on this project, was that there was unknown quantities of a secondary explosive present on site, isosorbide di-nitrate (ISDN), named in the Explosives Regulations 2005 and a substance that was sensitive to temperature and impact.

The Challenge

The site had been left with a range of substances in bulk storages and mobile containers, and in processing equipment on plant, all classified as dangerous under the COMAH Regulations.  There was also substantial quantities of the secondary explosive, ISDN, some of which was contaminated with other materials.

The challenge was to remove and safely dispose of the entire chemical inventory and the ISDN.  All contaminated plant and buildings were to be cleaned or demolished in order to bring the facility back to a state of cleanliness, where contamination levels were well below recognised occupational exposure levels.  There was a significant volume of sludge in a large open top tank, which was part of the former site’s effluent treatment facility.  This sludge was contaminated with ISDN and had to be removed from the site.

All the work was to be performed with the minimum number of personnel and equipment on site due to the explosive hazard presented by the ISDN.  The former management team was unavailable to give assistance, and records for the site were either unavailable or those that remained were not reliable. 

The solution

QES supplied a dedicated team of personnel to work on the project from the beginning and lead throughout by QES Director, Andy Collier.  A plan was developed where the facility would be decontaminated and remediated in phases.  The phasing was based on the removal of the ISDN thereby reducing the offsite risk.  All work was performed in conjunction with the key stakeholders, including the Health and Safety Executive, Natural Resources Wales and the emergency services through the Emergency Command Structure.

Each phase represented a different challenge and required the use of QES’ expertise in chemical plant decontamination and cleaning as well as the use of our specialist equipment. A Remote Cleaning Dozer was used to remove the ISDN contaminated sludge in the effluent tank, ensuring no requirement for personnel to enter the tank. In excess of 3000 Tonnes of chemical waste and wash arisings were also safely disposed of.  The project took 3 years to complete and was performed in compliance with CDM 2015.

Quote from Andy Collier. 

"I am pleased to say that at the end of 2017 and after 3 years of sustained effort and hard work, QES has successfully remediated the former Euticals site.  This project was conducted without incident and in compliance with the requirements laid down by the Regulatory Authorities and in close co-operation with all the key stakeholders including the client."

"Our small dedicated QES team undertook the work in a painstaking and professional manner, a requirement in all our work but particularly in this case because there was so little information available in relation to the hazards present and because of the unique challenge presented by there being a secondary explosive present.  It was undoubtedly the most complex chemical plant remediation and partial demolition project we have ever undertaken.  Our success in this project means QES stands ready to perform complex chemical plant remediation in the most extreme circumstances anywhere in the UK."