Between 1956 and 1992, the Avenue Coking Works in Chesterfield produced about 1,400 tonnes of coke and 765,000 m3 of manufactured gas per day. The industrial waste was abandoned on the site for several decades, making it one of the most polluted sites in Western Europe.
At the request of the state HCA (Homes & Communities Agency), SUEZ took up the challenge of rehabilitating the seriously polluted land of the former coking works in Chesterfield and restoring it to its natural state. Our goal: turning this problematic environment into land that is compatible with tertiary, cultural and sporting activities and restoring a natural reserve. SUEZ managed this ambitious project for seven years. The project will be definitively completed in March 2017.
To offer the local population significant benefits
SUEZ bore in mind one of the key goals of the project, which was to deliver a restored landscape to the local community. To this end, the short-term environmental nuisances due to the sanitation and restoration works had to be kept to a minimum.
For this reason, off-site treatment was quickly abandoned in favour of an on-site solution, designed specifically for the site and in view of all the environmental imperatives.
A made-to-measure treatment unit
Tests in our fixed unit in Rotterdam had shown that these contaminants - acidic and basic tars, organic and inorganic compounds - could be processed on the spot by thermal treatment.
SUEZ engineered a sophisticated thermal desorption unit. This facility uses a high-temperature process (500°C) based on the optimal use of the energy of the organic contaminants contained in the earth to be treated. It can treat 25 tonnes of polluted material per hour.
It meets both:
Protecting the safety of the operations staff
In this constrained industrial environment, every risk was analysed in an effort to guarantee industrial safety and to protect the health and safety of the personnel. Stringent protective measures were taken: