Macquarie Coal Preparation Plant

Macquarie Coal Preparation Plant

LOCATIONKillingworth, NSW
DURATION6 months
CLIENTOceanic Coal Australia Limited

Liberty Industrial have been engaged to undertake the demolition and removal of the Macquarie Coal Preparation Plant in the Lake Macquarie Region. The project is the second stage of works undertaken by Liberty Industrial. The first stage successfully completed in 2017 saw the demolition of the West Wallsend Colliery Pit Top Coal Handling Facilities over 5 months.

The project involves the demolition of the entire coal processing plant involving all above ground structures and below ground tunnels and conveyor systems.

Prior to commencement of demolition, Liberty Industrial completed specialist structural engineering analysis of the weakening methodology for all key structures to undergo induced collapse.

Removal of all hazardous materials on site including asbestos in both plant and buildings, draining of oils from machinery, cleaning of tanks and pumping out contaminated water was undertaken to prevent contamination of the surrounding waterways and protect the local environment with the site in close proximity to Lake Macquarie.

The demolition works included the induced collapse of a number of conveyor systems, the largest being the two Coal Stack Out conveyors spanning 150 metres in length to the west and 120 metres in length to the east of the transfer tower. The conveyors reaching 35 metres in height supported by hollow steel legs mass filled with concrete, standing either side of the 45 metre high transfer tower itself weighing 500 tonnes.

During peak demolition phase Liberty Industrial employed eight excavators ranging from 8 to 120 tonnes, as well as various support machinery, plant and equipment.

Already successfully completed within the work scope are the demolition of several coal transfer towers, coal bins, thickener tank, substation and over 2 kilometres of conveyor systems, utilising engineered induced collapse and both excavator processing with shear attachment, and hand cutting using oxy torches to downsize materials for removal from site.

Liberty Industrial remains focused on resource recovery with 98% of material including steel and non-ferrous metals destined for recycling.

The demolition of the Rail Loading Bin, standing 55 metres high and consisting of 2,200 tonnes of concrete will be undertaken using controlled explosive techniques. Preparation works have commenced to remove an 8 metre high section of concrete at the base and use explosives to remove adjacent panels, controlling the direction of the fall and minimising impact to neighbouring residents whilst still protecting the railway line for future use.

Preparation works are also underway for the induced collapse of the main Coal Washery Plant. The building standing 30 metres high and 60 metres long will be progressively weakened involving the cutting by hand of over 300 columns, beams and braces, allowing the structure to be collapsed using the simultaneous pulling by a 120 tonne and 70 tonne excavator.

For the duration of both the previous and current stages of the project, Liberty industrial has maintained a strong and consistent safety culture. In 2018 currently 21 weeks into the second stage with approximately 20,000 man hours completed, there have been no recordable injuries.