Demolition work and waste separation

The demolition work and waste separation at onshore wind turbines are performed by specialist service providers Beelen and Nehlsen Group. The waste separation for the dismantling of offshore turbines is organized within the Eemshaven by waste specialist Bek & Verburg.

The demolition company’s primary task is the demolition and processing of the tower, nacelle, foundation and cable works. In addition to the demolition and reduction activities, further processing will also be organized at the local recycling companies.

Depending on the owner’s wishes, regulations and the local situation, the blades can be reduced on site to dimensions that allow regular transport. They are then transported to a local processor for further processing to dimensions suitable for chemical or mechanical processing or for co-processing in the cement industry. See “Recycling”

In the event that as little processing as possible has to take place on site, Decom North can also organize the exceptional transport of the entire blades.

Dismantling blades

Various techniques can be used for processing the windmill blades. Decom North reduces the blades with hydraulic shears or a circular saw. Both techniques have advantages and disadvantages. Think of safety risks and the impact on the surroundings and the environment. A new technique that is currently being experimented with is water jet cutting.

Before the start of a decommissioning project, Decom North assesses together with the customer which technique is most suitable by carrying out a risk and environment analysis.

Demolition of foundation

When demolishing foundations, different requirements apply with regard to total or partial removal. In some cases, the foundation only needs to be demolished to a certain depth below the top edge of the site. The reason for partial demolition is a different interpretation of the “restore to original condition” requirement.

When demolishing the foundation, a distinction must be made between a standard flat foundation and a pile foundation. Pile foundations are similar in structure to standard flat foundations, but pile foundations do not stand directly on the ground, but rest on piles that have been previously inserted into the ground.

Decommissioning company Beelen organizes the dismantling of the foundation within Decom North. It is disassembled using an excavator. To do this, the foundation is first broken with a hydraulic chisel and the exposed fragments are then dredged out. Due to the vibrations during chiseling, the reinforcing steel can be separated from the concrete relatively easily, or is already predominantly present during excavation. The reinforcing steel and concrete are transported separately to processing sites for further recovery or recycling. Nehlsen Group focuses on the recycling of all metals and the transport activities are carried out by Lubbers Logistics Group.

In addition to making suitable equipment and authorized personnel available, the team that performs the demolition work and waste separation will also be involved in the following activities:

• Carrying out site-specific risk assessment
• Logistical measures for the preparation and execution of waste processing
• Checking presence of written demolition instructions
• Organizing permits and compliance with permitmeasures
• Compliance with health and safety regulations
• Verification and compliance with prescribed protective measures
• Issuance of qualified disposal certificates and weighing tickets
• Coordination between the stakeholders involved