Collaboration delivers biosecurity plant to new animal quarantine centre

The wastewater decontamination specialist has teamed up with its Australia agent, Fineweld Stainless Steel, to supply, manufacture, and install a wastewater decontamination plant and connecting containment pipework

Suncombe, based in London, has teamed up with its Australia agent Fineweld Stainless Steel to supply, manufacture, and install a wastewater decontamination plant and connecting containment pipework for the state-of-the-art Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility for animals, birds and insects in northern Melbourne. The plant treats Quarantine Containment (QC3) biowaste products in the avian compound.

Safeguarding Australia's environmental biosecurity is critical in preventing the introduction and spread of pests and diseases, and the new, flagship PEQ facility in Mickelham is setting the benchmark in international best practice with the use of stainless steel, say the companies. The facility consolidates and streamlines the country's quarantine services which were previously based in five separate locations across the country.

The complex and demanding brief for the avian compound included the delivery of five high-criticality biocontainment units under QC3 requirements, one of the highest levels of biosecurity containment.

The main contractor, Geschke Plumbing, was keen to use local expertise to provide major elements of the contract.

Fineweld fabricated a 12,500L collection vessel from 316 grade stainless steel and a 1,750L heat treatment vessel from 2205 duplex stainless steel, with a 0.6μm surface finish, at the company's Carrum Downs workshop. Then they were packed and shipped across the world to Suncombe. In London they were incorporated into the wastewater decontamination plant and underwent a complete Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) at Suncombe to validate the operation prior to delivery to ensure a simple "plug 'n' play" start-up on site.

The finished plant was then transported to Australia for final inspection and then installed on site. The installation took place two stories underground, therefore manufacturing and pre-spooling had no margin of error, says Fineweld. Extensive logistical challenges had to be managed and in collaboration with Suncombe and main contractor Geschke Plumbing, the project was delivered on time and on budget.

Steve Overton, Technical Director of Suncombe said: "We were delighted to be part of this project. The team at Fineweld in Australia and our own here in London worked very well together."

"Despite the different time zones, and having to transport these vessels over 20,000 miles in total, everything ran smoothly and professionally," Overton added. "It is a vital facility for Australia's biosecurity and very important that it was delivered on time and to the performance level required."

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