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Fri May 07 2021

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Decommissioning begins at Teesside petrochem sites

6 Jul 17 Saudi petrochemicals group Sabic has appointed specialist consultancy RVA Group to oversee the decommissioning, demolition and dismantling of 10 plants at its North Tees and Wilton sites.

Demolition of a redundant naphtha tank
Demolition of a redundant naphtha tank

Work has now started and is expected to take until 2020 to complete.

Demolition contractors can expect several opportunities to pitch for different elements of the work.

The demolition of a jetty begins at the end of July and should be cleared within eight weeks. Continued decommissioning support is being provided for a tank farm complex and RVA is also finalising the contractor selection process for the demolition of two aromatics plants, with a proposed mobilisation date of January 2018.

Elsewhere in Wilton, the 48-week demolition of Sabics’s Olefins 5 furnaces and neighbouring Butadiene 2 facility is already in progress and expected to be completed by the spring of 2018 and the close of 2017 respectively. 

Home to some of the most iconic industrial structures in Teesside, these two sites have transformed raw oil refinery materials into an array of chemical products for almost half a century.

“With the two-year upgrade of our cracker plant now complete, this current multi-million pound clean-up signals the latest chapter in the creation of safe, efficient and state-of-the-art facilities that are fit for the future,” says Sabic site director Daren Smith.  

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This is the biggest assignment that RVA has undertaken in the UK although it has done bigger overseas. It oversaw the three largest decommissioning and dismantling projects ever executed on Jurong Island in Singapore, for example.

“The portfolio of assets being cleared as part of this extensive programme is vast,” said RVA managing director Richard Vann. “We’re talking a range of world-scale chemical plants made up of complex structures, surrounded by live plant, in a multi-user operational site. This is an inherently demanding project but unparalleled planning has been invested to prepare for this phase of works.”

RVA was first appointed by Sabic back in 2011 to review all redundant assets on the two sites. Drones were deployed to inspect the condition of the various structures before a decommissioning strategy was developed. 

RVA was appointed via competitive tender to act as the decommissioning consultant, project management resource and CDM principal designer for this latest phase of the project.

“Some of the elements we’re working with here, have not been in use for some time. By cleansing the site of assets that are no longer adding value – we’re paving the way for SABIC’s future operations in this industrial heartland of the UK,” Richard Vann said.

Six RVA personnel have a full-time presence on the two sites, with visiting roles from three additional senior managers. The collaborative assignment is also being carried out in conjunction with Sabic’s own project management team, plus surveyors, dismantling and specialist demolition contractors who are being independently appointed via tender for each individual phase of work.

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