Demolition has started at an iconic Yorkshire plant to facilitate construction of the UKs largest open-die forging line.
Parts of Sheffield Forgemasters’ site at the north of Brightside Lane, are undergoing controlled demolition to create space for a 13,000 tonne Heavy Forge, which will be housed in a new 12,700 sq m structure adjacent to the Sheffield to Meadowhall train line.
Sections of disused Forge and Foundry buildings, dating from the Victorian era, will make way for the new facility, creating one of the most efficient open-die forging operations in Europe and the largest of its kind within the UK.
Steve Marshall, Manufacturing Transformation Director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “It has taken two years of planning and enabling works to bring us to this milestone, where we start to expose the footprint for our new forging line.
“Much of the structure earmarked for demolition has been out of use for some time. We have created a secure partitioning wall which fully isolates working parts of the site from the controlled, piecemeal demolition process.”
Remediation works for the site, have included dismantling internal steel structures, stabilisation of the ground, pile-driving to create a base for the segregation wall and meticulous identification and removal of any contaminants.
Steve added: “We have employed large numbers of specialist contractors to reach the point at which the proposed site is environmentally sound and meets all health and safety requirements for demolition, including creation of a new access road onto Brightside Lane.
“From this point, the work becomes much more measurable, as we begin to open up the space that the new Forge will fill.”
The recapitalisation team at Sheffield Forgemasters, responsible for the Forge project, estimates that more than 25,000m3 of spoil will need to be excavated for foundations to support the vast press, with 4,500m3 of existing concrete to be crushed.
Steve continued: “The whole project is working to the best environmental standards, so all spoil from the site will be graded and recycled as far as is possible.”
It is estimated that the multi-million GBP project will see completion of the foundations by 2025. The new facility will service defence and commercial work in sectors such as civil nuclear power.