Ten petrochemical plants in Teesside are now being decommissioned by RVA Group, the specialist firm appointed by Sabic to decommission, dismantle and demolish the plants based across Wilton and North Tees. The work is expected to take three years to complete, and sub-contracts are likely to be available to demolition firms, with a range of specific and specialist opportunities available.

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The first phase of work will see a jetty demolished. The clearance work will take a further eight weeks. Ongoing decommissioning services are being delivered for a complex tank farm, and the contractor selection process is being finalised by RVA to carry out the demolition of aromatics plants. Once the plants have been decommissioned and dismantled ground clearance will need to take place which may involve the services of a Soil Remediation Service such as https://soilfix.co.uk/services/soil-groundwater-remediation to ensure the quality of the grounds are left in a suitable condition.

Safe decommissioning to pave the way for new assets

The Olefins 5 furnaces will be demolished over a 48-week period. Work on the Butadiene 2 facility is already occurring and should finish next spring. The two sites, located in one of the most industrial parts of Teesside, have been working for nearly 50 years to extract chemical products from raw oil compounds.

The clean-up deal is worth millions of points to the final chapter for the facilities, which have been efficient, safe and cutting-edge during their operation. Meanwhile, the firm’s cracker plant has just completed a two-year upgrade programme.

This programme of work will be the largest carried out by RVA in Britain to date, although it has successfully delivered other larger projects overseas, including the three biggest decommissioning projects ever carried out in Singapore’s Jurong Island.

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An extensive programme

The programme of tank decommissioning and clearance is extensive, with a huge range of affected assets. The plants have been world-scale and use complex structures that are surrounded by busy and live operational sites. RVA MD Richard Vann said that the work would be challenging but that intensive planning and investment in preparation would allow a safe and timely delivery.

Sabic first appointed RVA in 2011 to carry out a full review of its redundant asset base, using drones to check the condition of each structure before planning a robust decommissioning strategy. Richard Vann explained that by removing assets that were no longer delivering value, Sabic would be positioned to bring further work back to a key part of the UK’s industrial heartland.