Early this year, Liberty Industrial began work on the decommissioning, demolition and rehabilitation at the old Wallerawang Power Station located in Lithgow, central-western New South Wales.
Opened in 1957, the Wallerawang facility remained an active coal-fired power station until 2014 and was a very important part of the region’s economy and its contribution to thermal power generation in New South Wales. Following its acquisition by Greenspot in late 2020, the 620-hectare site is set to be transformed into a multi-use circular economy and sustainable energy precinct that will seek to diversify and build resilience in the Central-West NSW economy.
The project, which sits amongst several historically significant structures, will be executed over an 18-month duration and leverage Liberty Industrial’s innovative approach to mechanical and explosive demolition.
Working on behalf of Greenspot, Liberty Industrial has begun to complete the demolition of two 60-metre-high boiler units, two 177-metre-tall stacks, precipitators, coal handling plant conveyors, the removal of equipment from within the turbine hall, smaller buildings & workshops, and complete HAZMAT removal and remediation.
At work is Liberty’s custom-built Kocurek modified Hitachi Ex1200 High Reach Demolition Excavator and our 230t Liebherr Excavator with Genesis GXT 2555R shear attachment – the largest excavator mounted shear in the world. Liberty’s investment in specialised high-reach plant and large shears makes us uniquely placed to execute this type of heavy industrial work efficiently and safely.
“Our strategic use of high-reach plant and equipment plays a critical role in reducing the interaction between personnel and the workface and is the cornerstone of our risk mitigation strategy at Wallerawang – and across the business,” says Director, Simon Gill.
Underpinning our risk management strategy, Liberty utilised Applied Science International (ASI) Extreme Loading software to simulate and model various explosive demolition scenarios for the felling of the two stacks.
This cutting edge software coupled with compressive strength tests of the actual concrete from the stacks assures that a thorough design process is undertaken to ensure the stacks behave and collapse as planned. This software also details the expected debris field as well as ground vibration estimates. This preemptive measure will ensure the surrounding heritage assets are protected and appropriate explosive demolition exclusion zones are enacted.
In keeping with Greenspot’s commitment to the region’s success, Liberty Industrial is delighted to have generated local employment opportunities during this early phase of the site’s revitalisation.
“Local personnel now comprise 33% of our total workforce on-site, we will look to increase this percentage as the project develops and new employments opportunities present. Our key subcontractors on-site, namely mobile crane hire and concrete cutting are all local companies” says Simon.
We are delighted to be working with Greenspot to deliver these works over the coming 18-months and make way for the re-purposing of the site.