DEMOLITION specialist firm Ron Hull is facing a tall order at a famous South Yorkshire steelworks—pulling down a 100-foot high furnace tower.
The challenge came as the Rotherham-based company started demolition work at the former Outokumpu steelworks site at Stocksbridge near Sheffield, which is being levelled in preparation for a multi-million pound redevelopment.
Operations Director Martin Wall said: “The most spectacular part of the demolition will be the removal of the 100-foot-high furnace tower.
“At one stage we did consider explosive demolition but because of the proximity of a railway line and buildings not scheduled for demolition we are bringing in a high reach machine to take it down traditionally.”
The site was handed over to the firm last month and specialist teams have now started taking down the former mills and workshops.
Mr Wall went on: "From our point of view the operation is relatively straightforward.
“All of the steel making machinery and equipment has now been removed from the buildings after being bought by firms around the world, so we’re dealing with empty shells.
"The site does have important gas and electricity supplies running through, not to mention a high pressure water main, but that's nothing we're not used to dealing with and we are not anticipating any problems.
"Steel making began in the valley back in the 1840s when Samuel Fox established the first works but the parts of the site where we are working do not have any historic buildings or workshops.
“Everything we’re taking down is fairly ordinary industrial stuff dating from the 1930s or later."
In line with modern demolition practice, almost all the materials recovered from the site are to be recycled.
The steel, iron and other metals from the structures are being removed to the firm's recycling centre in Rotherham, where it will be processed and sorted before being sold on to steelworks in Rotherham or Scunthorpe.
Timber recovered from the demolition is being moved on to specialist reprocessing firms.
Concrete and brick rubble is to be processed in situ and the hardcore is to be used to fill underground voids and for other ground works on the site."
Mr Wall added: "It is to be a very green operation. Absolutely everything that can be re-used will be recovered. Nothing will be wasted."
The project is expected to last 12 weeks.
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