What Does Decommissioning Mean?

2nd October 2017

Decommissioning can be defined in different ways by different companies, but for Hughes and Salvidge it predominantly refers to our work involved in the scheduled shut-down and ceasing of operations of Industrial, Chemical, Petrochemical, Power or Nuclear facilities.

Demolition of structures or buildings can sometimes be referred to as decommissioning, and these two elements of our business often coincide and collaborate on large scale Industrial, Chemical, Petrochemical, Power or Nuclear projects.

Vehicles demolishing industrial building

What does decommissioning consist of?

Principally though, decommissioning works for Hughes and Salvidge constitutes the following:

The works involved in decommissioning of Industrial, Chemical, Petrochemical, Power or Nuclear facilities or plants encompasses a detailed process and, like the demolition works that often follow on such projects, requires defined surveying, planning and management throughout the works.

Decommissioning plan

A decommissioning plan and scope of works will be produced and risk assessments and method statements, along with a programme of works environmental management plan and site waste management plan, will be compiled and agreed with the client and authorities before any work can commence.

Decontamination and industrial cleaning

Decontamination and industrial cleaning of elements such as plant, machinery, equipment and pipework within a facility is often the first phase of work. Only once this is completed and the areas signed off can the strip-out and removal phase of the decommissioning works begin.

Strip-out and removal

On occasion, the plant, machinery and equipment is to be transferred to another facility or plant for re-use, at the request of the client. The strip-out and removal process needs to be more intricate so as not to cause damage.

If the decommissioned plant, machinery or equipment is not to be transferred to another facility then these elements are transferred to a licenced recycling and waste facility and this will conform with the site waste management plan agreed at the start of the project.

Monitoring and progress evaluation

In line with all Hughes and Salvidge projects, continued project monitoring and progress evaluation will be conducted throughout the duration of the project. We believe in providing the safest, most practical and cost-effective solution for strategic decommissioning. Applied project KPI’s are continuously monitored and client feedback incorporated, thus providing optimum client satisfaction to budget and programme.

Structural demolition works

Once a site has been decommissioned, any scheduled demolition works of structures or buildings can take place.

Such decommissioning and demolition works can often take place when a portion of the facility or plant is remaining operational, so our typical high levels of operational and health and safety procedures are at the forefront of our approach.

Phased decommissioning and demolition works are often adopted, as with our project at Versalis Chemical Plant in Hythe, Southampton, to eliminate risk and disruption to the remainder of the facility and its staff.

Survey and site handover

Once all decommissioning and demolition works have been completed a survey and handover is completed to release the site for the next stage of its development.

How long does decommissioning take?

Decommissioning phases of projects can vary in duration, depending on the scale of the plant or facility to be decommissioned, the level of decontamination and industrial cleaning of the plant, machinery or equipment, whether such arisings are to be retained for another facility or plant, or recycled, and whether the works are to be carried out in agreed phasing to allow the continued operation of another area of the facility or plant.

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