VHE play our part in Gas Holder Demolition programme
04 February 2016
Gas holders have formed a critical part of the country’s infrastructure, helping to warm the UK’s homes and provide fuel for industry for decades, however, as the network of gas pipelines has grown and become more effective, they have gradually fallen out of use. Holders are being removed across the country, including many iconic structures, with the land being redeveloped and given back to communities.
For more than 20 years, VHE have played an important part in the redevelopment of many of the gas network sites across the country through Demolition, Remediation and Infrastructure projects. Since 2013, VHE have demolished 10 gas holders across 6 sites including Barnsley, Blackpool, Wallasey, Sheffield, Lostock Hall and Warrington. These have ranged between 31 and 46 metres in diameter and have consisted of both above and below ground structures of up to 14 metres in depth/height
In order to demolish the gas holder structure, initially VHE must empty each of the steel structures of upto 40,000m3 of water which is then treated prior to discharge, under consent, into the sewers. The water was originally used to create an airtight seal and has been untouched within the structures since they were first constructed. Once this process has been completed, the base is cleared of any contaminated residual sludge before being stabilised on site and transported to safe waste facilities; finally, the immense steel structure is carefully dismantled.
In total, VHE have dismantled, processed and recycled almost 9,000 tonnes of gas-holder steel, removed over 160,000m3 of water and dealt with nearly 3,000m3 of contaminated residual sludge. VHE have been involved in the infilling and remediation of former holders as part of VHE’s remediation framework agreement with National Grid, under which works first commenced in 1996.
National Grid have been going through a programme of demolition which could possibly last another 20 years. VHE’s involvement with this work shows no sign of slowing down with the company already having been appointed to five more holder demolitions for 2016 in Derby and Leicester which will include the largest structures undertaken to date of over 80m in diameter.