Le Nickel – SLN


Noumea, New Caledonia




1990 – 1992


Industrial Demolition & Deconstruction


The demolition of the redundant Nickel Smelter saw the removal of the entire structure, 8 kilns, 8 elkem Furnaces, towers, chimneys, concrete structures to ground level. The entire plant was removed more than 12 months ahead of schedule, with more than 25,000 tonnes of steel processed to export quality and exported directly to Japan.

Additional contracts were won for the removal of the Nickel Palletizing Plant on the East Coast of New Caledonia in the Mining town of Poro and the removal of the ship unloading infrastructure along the Port access to the Nickel Mill in Noumea.

The entire project was completed using a local Melanesian labour force trained onsite specifically for the project.

Picture 1 – Aerial View

This image is an aerial view of the Doniambo Nickel Smelter in Noumea, New Caledonia. The time given for completion was three and a half years. Using local labour and equipment, this project was completed in tow years (eighteen months ahead of schedule). In this photo the New Smelter in the foreground with its two towers remained intact, all of the Old Smelter behind was removed.

Picture 2 – Training of Local Workforce

Preparation for this project, included the training of a local workforce in all facets of the demolition process as only island labour was permitted to be used. Courses had to be given in French, the local language and safety training continued throughout the project. The two lanyard system for harnesses was used for all height work on site.

Here we see a worker 35 metres up, preparing a 1.5m I-beam for removal.

Picture 3 – Rotating Kilns

In all, eight of these rotating kilns were removed. Refractory lined, 4m in diameter and 75m long, mounted 15m above ground level and weighing 400 tonnes each.

Other features removed were thirty two x 300 cubic metre concrete supports, eight x 36 metre high brick lined, steel chimneys and twenty five thousand tonnes of steel structures.

Picture 4 – Recycling

36,000 tonnes of HMS scrap was exported from New Caledonia during the course of the demolition projects including 4,000 tonnes loaded off shore through the reef using nickel ore barges.

This was carried out after the completion of the Nickel Palletizing Plant in Poro on the east coast of New Caledonia.

Picture 5 – Uploading Facility

An addition to the Nickel Smelter Project was the Ore unloading facilities at the Noumea Port. This consisted of all 25 metre structures, conveyors, concrete bunkers to the port perimeter. Contract duration was 6 months.


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