19th October 2023

Giant Teesworks Demolition Wins Major Global Award

A successful demolition on the former Redcar steelworks – which included one of the largest single explosions in the past 75 years – has been recognised with a major international award.

The Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant was brought down last October as part of the clearance of Teesworks for large-scale regeneration and investment.

Up to 1.6 tonnes of explosives were used to level the 65m (213ft) structure in a blast which could be heard up to eight miles away and required road closures and dust suppression measures.

Thompsons of Prudhoe, the specialist firm which carried out the BOS plant demolition, has now won the $1m-plus Contract of Year award at the World Demolition Awards at a ceremony in Toronto, Canada.

Award judges said Thompsons had delivered on a large-scale and challenging project requiring “comprehensive planning, analysis, communication and execution”.

The award recognised that the project was brought in ahead of schedule and on budget with no accidents. Around 55 employees worked on the project at its height.

Tom Koerner, Thompsons of Prudhoe Operations Director, said: “By winning this award we are absolutely delighted to be recognised on a global scale within our industry. The BOS plant project was a very challenging yet rewarding experience for us and this win would not have been achieved without the expertise, determination and sheer hard work from our team who worked day and night to bring this enormous part of the former steelworks site down safely, within budget and ahead of programme.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Teesworks and Atkins team who worked so well with us to help make the BOS plant demolition project officially the best in the world!”

The BOS plant refined molten iron from the blast furnace, until the works closed in 2015.

The demolition was part of a £25million project carried out over 12 months to pull down large industrial sheds and seven tall chimney stacks that made up part of the 30-acre steelmaking facility.

Major plant items and equipment were stripped out from the facility to prepare the structure, which contained an estimated 105,000 tonnes of steel. More than 98% of the waste from the demolition has also been recycled.

The last explosive demolition on Teesworks was completed in June this year. Work is now progressing on multiple projects, including construction of the £450million SeAH wind turbine factory at South Bank and preparatory work on the multibillion-pound Net Zero Teesside Power scheme.

Martin Corney, Teesworks CEO, said: “The demolition of the BOS plant was a hugely complex project which was an essential stage in our transformation of Teesworks into a location for highly paid, well-skilled jobs and investment.

“Thompsons truly deserve this international award for their incredible work in delivering a demolition that was on time and on budget and – most importantly – was done safely for both workers and the public.

“We are now working hard to ensure that the next phases of Teesworks’ redevelopment are also delivered at a standard of excellence that this project has set.”

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