Tender issued to demolish buildings at
former incinerator complex

By Wes Stewart
Cape Breton Post
Fri., Apr. 2, 2004

Sydney Steel Corp. is tendering the demolition of three buildings on the site of the former incinerator complex.

The $55-million incinerator, built in 1994 to burn 700,000 tons of tar ponds sludge, was maintained at an annual cost of $400,000.

The province, earlier this month, decided to abandon the mothballed operation and include it in the overall demolition of structures on the steel plant site.

Sysco receiver Ernst & Young is advertising for interested companies to demolish the harbour pumps building, the boiler house building and the No. 3 power house building. Interested companies have until April 14 to submit an application.

Sysco spokesman Alf MacLeod said the buildings were part of the incinerator complex built to burn tar ponds sludge. On-site incineration has been ruled out as an option to remediate the tar ponds.

MacLeod said there has already been some interest in purchasing equipment, like motors and pumps and parts of the fluidized bed combustion incinerator. "The buildings not part of the actual incinerator will be demolished right away and the rest will go when the equipment is sold, " he said.

The site on the steel plant property includes the incinerator, power house, boiler house, bag house, stack, pipe line, and water treatment facility.

Cape Breton South MLA Manning MacDonald has been arguing for more local involvement in the demolition and lobbied for a tender call on the site. He said the incinerator was not part of the original contract to demolish the steel plant. "We struck a cord with them," said the Liberals' Sysco critic, when asked about the tender call. "There is no reason why Sysco should go off-island looking for contractors and labourers to demolish the incinerator. We have the expertise to do it," MacDonald said. "E&Y owes this work to local labour and I hope they are given fair consideration."

Almost a year ago, a community-driven process endorsed the removal and destruction of the contaminated waste from the tar ponds and coke ovens sites. It favoured a process of pretreating and co-burning the toxic sludge at an off-site power plant or cement kiln.

The province last week announced it will contribute its $120 million share to the cleanup and wants the federal government to commit the remaining 70 per cent as its share of the remediation.