Milestones celebrated in General Chemical demolition process

 

The smoke stack at General Chemical was demolished earlier this year. All buildings that are going to be torn down as part of the demolition process are now down, according to Amherstburg Land Holdings officials.

The smoke stack at General Chemical was demolished earlier this year. All buildings that are going to be torn down as part of the demolition process are now down, according to Amherstburg Land Holdings officials.

By Ron Giofu

Progress in the demolition process of General Chemical was marked last Monday night at an open house held at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

The former General Chemical plant, now owned by Amherstburg Land Holdings, was discussed at the open house with officials of the Honeywell-affiliated Amherstburg Land Holdings group guiding the small crowd that attended through the process.

Rich Galloway, remediation manager with Honeywell’s corporate office, said an oil tank and five above ground surface impoundments – the latter he likened to large swimming pool-like structures – are all that are left to be demolished.

“We’re here tonight to mark the completion of demolition,” said Galloway. Amherstburg Land Holdings purchased the property in April 2011 with preparatory work beginning in January 2012. Months of planning also accompanied the demolition.

A fund of $20 million negotiated as part of General Chemical’s departure from town is being utilized as part of the remediation process. Galloway said now that demolition of the buildings has been completed, it will be marketed.

Realtors and town officials have been consulted with regards to the property’s possible sale or lease. “It’s suitable for another industry to come in,” said Galloway.

Both Galloway and Vaughan Hansen, plant manager at Amherstburg’s Honeywell plant, noted that not only could the property be purchased or leased all at once, Amherstburg Land Holdings may be interested in selling or leasing pieces of the land. Galloway noted they plan on being “very flexible” when it comes to marketing the property.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has overseen demolition work. Galloway pointed out the company has an overall recycle rate of 90 percent of all materials that were taken down and removed from the site.

Construction and demolition waste amounted to 1,500 tonnes while 5,000 tonnes of concrete was recycled. The five surface impoundments should be removed by early fall next year. The large tank will be removed once the oil is removed.

Ryan Manning, an engineer with CH2M Hill, noted the oil will be heated up, loaded onto rail cars and sold to an oil distributor.

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