Jet Demolition has won the Industrial Demolition Award at the World Demolition Awards for the fast-track demolition of a damaged boiler structure at power utility Eskom’s Duvha power station, in Mpumalanga.
The awards were held in Dublin, Ireland, in November and were hosted by Demolition & Recycling International magazine, published by the KHL group, in conjunction with the European Demolition Association.
There were ten entrants in the category, with a shortlist of four selected by a three-person international judging panel. The finalists included Jet Demolition; Brandenburg Industrial, of the US, for the Bannister Federal Complex; Despe, of Italy, for the former Stefana Steelworks; and Liberty Industrial, of Australia, for the Port Kembla Coal Terminal stacker and reclaimer demolition.
Jet Demolition MD Joe Brinkmann says that the company’s submission focused on the contract awarded to it by Eskom in 2017 for the demolition of a coal-fired boiler and ancillary equipment at Duvha power station, following the overpressurisation of the boiler at Unit 3 of the 3 600 MW power station that resulted in irreparable damage to the structure and associated equipment.
The contract for the demolition of the coal-fired boiler and ancillary equipment was subsequently awarded to Jet Demolition, with the key requirements being safe, controlled and rapid removal of the damaged 600 MW boiler to facilitate later replacement.
Preventing damage to the main support structure of the boiler house and its internal substructures was crucial, as their reuse was required for the rebuild.
With Unit 3 being surrounded on all sides by operating power plant equipment, it was vital that demolition and removal activities be implemented without affecting the normal operation of the other five units at the power station.
“Our main consideration was that the boilerhouse structure had to remain in place, and therefore could not be damaged in any way. Combined with all of these elements was the fact that we were in the middle of a fully operating power station. This meant having to accommodate live services that could not be compromised,” explains Brinkmann.
This high-risk project involved the removal of critically compromised structures and was carried out over two 12-hour shifts a day, with the workforce peaking at 145.
Various purposeful demolition methods were devised, including complex rigging with purpose-built winches, extended-length chain-blocks and mobile cranes; extensive rope- access activities; and controlled cut-and-drop techniques where the boiler walls served as a drop chute.
To give a sense of the immense scale of the project, Brinkmann reveals that the 96-m-high suspended boiler towers higher than the Statue of Liberty. A total of 11 000 t of steel was removed successfully over a 13-month period.
The project logged 330 373 hours without a lost-time injury.
The project team essentially comprised experienced in-house demolition personnel to ensure safe and efficient operations; however, the socioeconomic development requirements of the contract stipulated the employment and training of local community members.
Twenty-five technical jobs were created with course work and on-the-job training provided for engineering technicians, safety, health and environment officers, riggers, demolition equipment operators and multiskilled demolition workers.
Local businesses provided over 50% of the total procurement spend on demolition, thereby further promoting community development.
Meanwhile, Jet Demolition’s innovative implosion of the 14-storey HG de Witt Building in the bustling Pretoria central business district clinched its first accolade at the World Demolition Awards in 2017. The latest win for the Duvha boiler project complements the company’s record and expertise.
As for entering the awards in 2019, the company already has an exciting environmental rehabilitation project lined up as its potential entry, “which further showcases our bespoke approach and innovation”, Brinkmann concludes.