Liberty Industrial Completes First Stage of Coal Infrastructure Demolition
National deconstruction and remediation contractor Liberty Industrial recently completed the first stage of the demolition of a number of stackers and reclaimers to be replaced as part of Port Kembla Coal Terminal’s (PKCT) broader restoration project.
Prior to moving the decommissioned reclaimer to a dedicated demolition area, Liberty Industrial disconnected and extracted the impact table from underneath the reclaimer while it was still in the stockyard, without damage to the live conveyor belt.
Once disconnected from all its services, the 1250t structure was pulled across purposely built extension rails to a temporary position where the machine underwent all preparatory works required for its transport using Self-Propelled Modular Trailers (SPMT). To pick up and secure the reclaimer in position during transport, a special-purpose 40t steel ‘transport frame’ was fabricated and mounted on the bed of the SPMT trailers.
The reclaimer was transported over a bridge and away from the live conveyor line to a designated area for demolition and processing. Once lowered to the ground and secured, the structure was pre-weakened to facilitate its demolition with explosive cutting charges. The charges were placed at strategic locations and the pre-weakening cuts were verified by Liberty Industrial’s Explosive Engineer. After the structure was safely collapsed to ground level, a combination of 70t and 36t excavators fitted with shear attachments processed the steel structure for removal and recycling off-site.
In post-tender consultation with the client, third party structural engineer and cranage contractor, Liberty Industrial developed a high-level methodology for dismantling the stacker which ultimately secured the contract for Liberty Industrial.
The coal stacker was straddling an operating conveyor line, hence the demolition involved dismantling the structure into smaller components using heavy crane lifts, with minimal impact on PKCT’s operations. To achieve this, Liberty Industrial utilised a 600t crawler crane located within one of the coal stockyards.
After completion of the lifts, the lowered sections of the structure were downsized at ground level, lifted onto trucks and transported to a designated demolition area for processing by excavators with shear attachments and the material was subsequently transported off-site for recycling.
The project also involved the salvage of a various range of items including drive units, electrical and PLC cabinets, cable reelers, transformers etc to be retained by PKCT as spare parts for the machines still in operation inside the terminal.
As some of the works were shut down dependant, all preparatory works were carried out when the plant was live, without disrupting PKCT’s operations.
Liberty Industrial will demolish and dispose of a second reclaimer and two more stackers for PKCT in the coming months, following the commissioning of the new reclaimer and stackers. This will involve dismantling all three structures using heavy crane lifts. Liberty Industrial will utilise a 600t crawler crane to carry out the lifts.
The demolition works will be carried out within the operating plant which will require significant planning and pre-shutdown works to minimise the impact on PKCT operations.