Leading civil engineering firm Jones Bros has begun work on the latest phase of a major project to install eco-lining to a quarry to enable it to hold Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) from Aberthaw coal-fired power station.
The project involves the innovative use of crushed rock as part of the third phase of construction of a huge containment cell at a former quarry. The environmentally friendly project uses vast amounts of PFA to successfully renovate the former gravel pits.
It is the first time in the UK that crushed rock, referred to as mudstone, has been recycled for use as a geological barrier for such a cell and forms part of an RWE npower restoration project to regenerate the quarry to an area of agricultural use.
The new material creates a geological barrier which has attenuation properties similar to those constructed using more conventional materials. It has the added benefit of saving on waste, a vital consideration as government increases pressure on UK industries to improve their green credentials.
The barrier construction operation is located in a redundant area of the Aberthaw north quarry, South Wales, not far from the power station where surplus PFA from the combustion process has been deposited since 2007.
Geraint Thomas, contracts manager for Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, said: “This is phase three of the project and a 15-20-strong workforce will be present, as well as a newly recruited trainee engineer who will gain valuable work experience.
“We expect phase three to take around six months to complete and will involve excavating 150,000 cubic metres of rock and crushing 60,000 cubic metres of rock. The aggregate produced will then be used as drainage stone to form part of the cell lining and the placement of geotextile and a 20mm to dust barrier layer on top.”
Jones Bros, of Ruthin, North Wales, has developed considerable expertise in containment cell construction and was an early leader in the laying of high-density polyethylene geomembranes, and the ground preparations required of sites in readiness for landfill.
Founded in the 1950s and employing almost 350 people, Jones Bros has grown rapidly in the last decade. It is currently working on contracts in various sectors including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects around the UK.