A redundant plant on the west coast of Scotland was demolished and cleared by Liverpool-based metal recycler S Norton & Co, and their customer AR Demolition, Nuneaton.
The redundant processing plant at Glensanda Super Quarry, near Oban, had 1,500 tonnes of metals removed by boat as the structures were preventing progress for further extraction and the site’s huge reserves, writes SAMUEL McKEOWN.
The quarry’s isolated location on the banks of Loch Linnhe meant the only viable access solution for heavy plant and equipment was by barge from the mainland to the quarry port – an hour’s sail away.
AR Demolition Managing Director, Richard Dolman said: “S Norton’s specialist expertise had been extremely helpful, especially with cutting up the larger metal pieces, which required particular skill.”
“Castings too large to be dealt with by the excavator-mounted shears”
Significant investment in upgrading and constructing new facilities by the quarry owner Aggregate Industries had left a former workshop, crusher house, conveyor system and separate building earmarked for demolition.
Working with AR Demolition’s oxy-fuel cutting team, S Norton & Co’s operatives used thermic lances to process the oversize scrap pieces into manageable standard sizes of 5ft x 2ft to allow for suitable storage on the ship, and best price for the customer.
The 20-metre-high crusher building had housed some very heavy castings too large to be dealt with by the excavator-mounted shears. Weighing in excess of 50 tonnes, these required specialist removal and disposal by the AR and S Norton teams.
To remove the material from the port, AR Demolition had considered using bulk tippers – however this would have increased the time for the project and massively impacted traffic on the local roads.
Having looked at the alternatives, S Norton & Co supplied a 3,000-tonne capacity coaster to ship the material to their Liverpool base for further processing. The teams loaded the vessel in under two days.
S Norton & Co’s Contracts Manager Kenny McKeen explained how they were called in for their specialist expertise in processing some of the scrap and the type of vessel to carry it back to Liverpool for subsequent export.
He said: “It was a highly unusual job, due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the site.
“We sent two men with burning equipment and lances who assisted the processing and loading of the metal, working as part of AR’s team.
“One of the key challenges was the draft in the bay where the vessel docks and the depth of water was a major consideration, requiring close liaison with the harbourmaster.
It was the furthest distance we’d ever sent our men on a project, and everything went smoothly.”
Kenny called the project the ‘most complex and challenging’ to date, which included the valuable assistance of loading the freighter chartered to transport the scrap metal to Liverpool.
He added: “The quarry’s remote location presented unusual logistics in that everything had to be transported by water; making a relatively normal project unusual.”
Family-owned S Norton & Co are one of the UK’s prominent metal recyclers, and have sites in Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton and London.
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