No Time to Waste: Europe's Chlorine Industry and the Mercury Challenge
Unanticipated Surprises: What Can Go Wrong in Decommissioning?
With only three years left, it is crucial that serious consideration is given to cost-effective closure solutions. Decommissioning of current mercury equipment and replacement with the new BAT technologies can take several years to fully implement.
Industrial experts like Golder Associates have experienced the demanding decommissioning and replacement processes first hand, having performed chlor-alkali production line closures in Europe, Australia and the USA. Even though these closures can be time consuming, having an established experience does allow for speeding up the processes if this is required in terms of cost effectiveness.
A typical decommissioning of a process cell hall takes around three to five years and the construction of the new membrane based technology process requires at least two. However, parts of these two processes can be carried out at the same time.
Mercury Spillage and How to Handle it
Furthermore, cleanup activities of ground and groundwater are expected to take an additional few years since mercury based production processes can generally cause significant contamination.
Metallic mercury is not only one of the most mobile substances, it is also one of the heaviest liquids with a density of 13.5 kg/l at room temperature. Such a liquid will follow gravity pathways into the ground: If there are no natural barriers, there are only few constraints to deep penetration.