INEOS finds hidden potential in plant decommissioning 09 March 2011

INEOS ChlorVinyls is reporting "previously unconsidered opportunities and cost benefits" since appointing RVA to manage decommissioning projects at its Barry and Runcorn plants.

Colin Hopwood, INEOS ChlorVinyls' site services manager for Runcorn, explains that the firm engaged CDM coordinator and project manager RVA to oversee these two major projects, but then agreed a role that would maximise income from the resale of redundant plant and high-value exotic alloys.

He says that originally the plan was to decommission and clean the Barry site before handing it back to the landlord with the plant intact, However, RVA's 'at risk' feasibility and options study revealed the commercial benefits of the alternative approach adopted.

Hence, when it came to the Runcorn plant, Hopwood says: "The company … assessed a number of plants, projected costs of removal, optimised sequencing and a potential rolling decommissioning programme for several areas of the 125-hectare top-tier COMAH site."

"The quality and integrity of this guidance not only led to us proceeding with the Runcorn works, but I also then recommended their services to a colleague heading up the Barry project," he adds.

Since the sequential decommissioning and demolition of five redundant chemical processing plants began on the high-hazard Runcorn site in August 2010, the plant assets have remained operational elsewhere.

Priority was given to dismantling INEOS' four distillation columns, ranging from 40 to 60 metres in height. However, due to their proximity to high-hazard pipelines, and given the inherently dangerous nature of hot-cutting techniques, an alternative dismantling process had to be devised.

RVA oversaw the more time-intensive, but far safer alternative, of high pressure abrasive water jets that ran around the circumference of the columns' cut lines to eliminate the flammable risks, before the top sections could be removed with a lifting nail attached to a 500 tonne crane.

With six months of the programme still to complete, RVA is currently planning for the dismantling of INEOS' anhydrous caustic soda plant – a procedure that will take place in May this year. Although the asset is no longer needed by INEOS, the plant is in good condition and is being dismantled for re-erection elsewhere.

"Due for completion in August 2011, the clearance of the redundant assets within our Per-Tri, Per-Tri Shipping, ACS, VDC4 and KOH plants will prepare the site for potential new INEOS ventures," comments Hopwood.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Inovyn ChlorVinyls Ltd
RVA Group

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.