Bechtel announced that construction of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant’s main plant facilities is now more than 75 percent complete. Bechtel leads the team, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, that is building the pilot plant for the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) program. When finished and fully tested, the facility will safely destroy the stockpile of chemical nerve-agent weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot outside Richmond, Kentucky.
“This milestone sets the stage for the final phases of construction and marks countless hours of dedicated work performed by the team on this critical mission,” said Jeff Brubaker, PEO ACWA site project manager.
A large portion of the work to date has focused on the vast infrastructure needed to support future main-plant operations. The Bechtel-led team, working with the Army, has completed construction of a laboratory, maintenance and personnel support buildings, an electrical substation, and fire-water pump house.
“We currently have more than 290,000 square feet of facilities where we are performing construction and systemization activities,” said Doug Omichinski, Bechtel project manager. “As we complete the construction phase for systems and buildings, they are transitioned to a systemization phase so we can begin testing and validating that those same systems and buildings will safely work as designed to support future plant operations.”
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant will safely and efficiently destroy a stockpile of nerve-agent rockets and artillery projectiles. Additionally, early design and permitting work has begun for an explosive-destruction- technology, static-detonation-chamber system to safely destroy mustard-agent projectiles deemed unsuitable for processing in the main pilot plant. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, a joint venture of Bechtel National, Inc., and Parsons Government Services Inc., is responsible for designing, constructing, testing, and operating these
facilities, which will destroy a total of 523 tons of chemical agent in more than 100,000 munitions currently stored at the depot.
Bechtel has vast experience in the elimination of chemical weapons. In addition to its work in Kentucky, the company leads the team managing a similar project in Colorado, the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. Previous projects include designing, constructing, and operating the Aberdeen Chemical Neutralization Facility in Maryland, constructing the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Alabama, and completing numerous Cooperative Threat Reduction efforts in the former Soviet Union.