Bechtel Achieves Key Construction Milestone at Chemical Weapons Destruction Plant
01 March 2013
Major Structural Steel Installed On Schedule at the Plant’s Largest Facility
Bechtel announced today the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass team has completed on schedule installation of major structural steel into the Munitions Demilitarization Building (MDB) at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). The MDB is the largest and most complex facility at BGCAPP, which will safely destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass is the contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program to design, build, systemize, test, operate, and close the plant.
“Completing major structural steel work is another example of everyone’s commitment to progress and getting the job done right,” said Jeff Brubaker, the U.S. Army’s site project manager for BGCAPP. “This milestone is a reflection of the entire BGCAPP team’s collaboration and rigorous support for a common mission and goal.”
The milestone represents a 10-year design and construction effort coming to successful completion. The 143,000-square-foot facility contains more than 3,650 tons of structural steel and has the footprint of about the size of two adjacent football fields. During plant operations, the MDB is where an automated process will remove the weapons’ energetics and chemical agents for destruction in separate processes. When operational, BGCAPP will destroy a stockpile of 523 tons of blister and nerve agents in projectiles and rockets.
“Completing this work allows for more progress as we now move forward to enclose the facility with exterior siding,” said Gil Drexel, construction manager for Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “This accomplishment was made possible by our entire workforce that includes skilled local ironworkers from the Central Kentucky Building and Construction Trades Council.”
Tom McKinney, project manager for Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, agreed, “Milestones are worthy of recognition when they are completed safely and with the highest of quality standards. From design to procurement to construction, every step is important. Designing and reviewing the steel, finding high-quality U.S. fabricators, and safely erecting the facility were all critical.”
Currently, plant construction is more than 64 percent complete, systemization is more than nine percent complete, and work is progressing on a variety of facilities to support chemical demilitarization operations.
Bechtel has built a reputation for successfully designing and constructing facilities to dispose of chemical weapons stockpiles in the U.S. Most notably, Bechtel led the team that successfully completed the first destruction of a stockpile of chemical weapons at a continental U.S. military site, the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. In addition to BGCAPP, Bechtel is currently the prime design-build-operate contractor of the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Pueblo, Colorado.