Bristol Port, Stacker & Reclaimer

Disposal of Strachan & Henshaw, Stacker & Reclaimer

The scope of works included:

  • The Controlled Demolition of a coal stacker
  • The Controlled Demolition of a coal reclaimer
  • The dismantling of associated conveyor system
  • Removal of all rail lines and sleepers
  • The subsequent scrap cutting and removal for recycling

Bristol Port is the UK’s most centrally located deep sea port, with 67% of the population – 43 million people – within 250km. Each year the port handles a multitude of cargo types including; 27% of all UK aviation fuel imports, 6 million tonnes of dry bulk goods, 25% of all animal feed imports, 750,000 motor vehicles and 10% of UK coal imports. Over 10,000 jobs depend on the port with the Bristol Port Company and businesses on the Port Estate contributing more than £1 Billion to UK GDP.

The current owners of the port have invested over £500 million since privatisation in the early 1990’s to create a modern, thriving business offering the full range of shipping, distribution and logistics services. This investment has continued with the port looking to the future of the logistics industry to offer the most efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for its customers.

As the UK’s dependence on coal for power generation rapidly decreases in favour of renewable energy sources, many items of coal handling equipment have become surplus to requirements. This was the case in Bristol Port where a stacker and a reclaimer were no longer in use, and as the port diversified into different sustainable cargo types the area of the former coal terminal was earmarked for future development. To make way for the new development on the site, the redundant coal handling assets were to be removed.

Following a competitive tender process O’Brien Specialist Crane Services were awarded the contract for the disposal of a Strachan & Henshaw stacker, a bucket wheel reclaimer, associated conveyor system and crane rails & sleepers. O’Brien Specialist Crane Services were the selected contractor for the project as our proposal offered the most superior solution for each of the criteria on which the contract was awarded.

A number of different methods were considered for the project, including controlled collapse, piecemeal dismantling and explosive demolition, with a feasibility study carried out on each of the options. In the end O’Brien Specialist Crane Services opted for a high reach remote demolition method, utilising the companies own 100ton high reach demolition excavator, one of only a handful in Europe with the capability to handle the necessary attachment and the required height. This method was chosen to minimise disruption, reduce the project duration and limit costs for the client.

The engineers at O’Brien Specialist Crane Services carried out a structural analysis of each asset to be demolished, taking into account weights, C of G and structural integrity of the different elements of the machines. This analysis allowed the engineers to model a number of scenarios for the demolition in advance of the works, allowing them to determine the safest demolition operation and sequence. The selected demolition operation was successfully performed onsite with pinpoint accuracy as was predetermined, utilising the high reach demolition excavator.

Once at ground level specialist mechanical equipment was used to process all ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling, this allowed the team to clear the site in as quick a time as possible. The project achieved a 99% recycling rate with only 1% of arisings going to landfill.

The project featured many risks including working at heights, operation of heavy plant and working in a live port. However, the project was successfully completed, on schedule to the total satisfaction of The Bristol Port Company and other key stakeholders, with zero health, safety or environmental incidents.

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