Decommissioning experts head for Finland

IPSWICH: A group of experts from Suffolk is heading for Finland to oversee the demolition of a polymer production plant.

Ipswich-based RVA Group was called in by BASF, the world’s largest chemical firm, to project manage the complex process of dismantling and demolishing the facilities, which are based in Kaipiainen.

A team of specialist engineers from RVA spent five months helping BASF prepare for the project and will now oversee the safe execution of the works.

RVA, which works all over Europe, has a lot of experience in decommissioning projects and has seen its international work grow from 4% to 20% over the last five years. It has appointed a Finnish team of experts to carry out the demolition work, and will remain on site throughout the three month project to ensure it runs smoothly and safely.

Trevor Nicholson, of BASF, praised RVA’s record in carrying out large-scale decommissioning and decontamination work.

“We sought RVA’s expertise for the Kaipiainen project following their work with us at Seal Sands in the North East of England in 2009, where they demonstrated their ability to meet BASF’s exacting standards when it comes to environmental health and safety,” he said. “A project of this nature requires a thoughtful, coordinated and attentive approach, plus specialist industry knowledge that we know RVA can deliver.”

Redundant plant items have to be dismantled for recycling, while others, such as large storage vessels, will be kept and taken on by a new company which will store and distribute chemicals from the site.

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Three industrial companies currently share the BASF site, and the RVA experts will be safeguarding their activities, as there are no fenced boundaries between the different operations.

Central facilities, such as a boilerhouse, waste water treatment plant and an essential rail freight line have to be protected, and RVA has to ensure that the supply of raw materials to the site remains uninterrupted during the works.

A 53 tonne excavator with a 25m reach will be used to carry out some of the work.