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Former paper mill crumples after textbook demolition


A spectacular explosion brought down a 170 ft high powerhouse - part of the former Arjo Wiggins paper mill at Corpach, Fort William - signalling the next stage of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the site, which is being project managed by Currie & Brown on behalf of BSW Timber, the UK's largest sawmilling group.

A controlled explosion, which took place on Wednesday (April 30), reduced the powerhouse to rubble in a matter of seconds. The blast cut through the steel legs of the redundant powerhouse, which housed a 150 ft chamber containing two major boilers weighing more than 100 tonnes, topped by a 20 ft steel chimney.

Emma Silvey, Project Manager at Currie & Brown, who are providing cost management and project management services for BSW Timber at the 67-acre site in Fort William, said: "The textbook demolition of the powerhouse represents a significant milestone in this exciting project. We look forward to working with BSW to turn the master-plan developed by the team into reality."

BSW Timber purchased the 67-acre paper mill site from Arjo Wiggins in 2006, paving the way for a phased investment, relocation and expansion of BSW’s existing Fort William sawmill.

Andy Rogers, mill manager of BSW's Fort William Mill, said: "It is particularly pleasing that the demolition represents a further step on the road to reinvigorating the site and ensuring it will continue to play a key role as a premier industrial manufacturing location for Lochaber - and for Scotland and the rest of the UK."

The planning application and master-plan for the new sawmill was submitted to the Highland Council in early December 2007.

Following infrastructure work and subject to the necessary planning approvals, Currie & Brown will continue as cost and project managers for the development phases of the project. This will include the investment in secondary processing facilities such as kilning and timber treatment through to the building of a new sawmill. Following completion, all production will be transferred to the new site.

- Ends -

For further information please contact:
Please contact Christine McAllister on 0141 553 1115 or 07706 111 214

Note to Editors:

Currie & Brown is a consultant in international construction and related matters, including risk and property management. It has four operating service divisions: Project Management, Cost Management, Consulting and Business Consultancy.

The company employs over 1000 people worldwide: 500 in the UK (50/50 split Scotland and England) and a further 500 in more than 50 overseas territories.

It is one of the world’s top 10 consultancies whose clients include Marks & Spencer, Royal Bank of Scotland, BBC, BAA, BP, Land Securities Trillium and Shell Exploration.

The business is headquartered in London with 13 regional offices across the UK. It also has offices throughout Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Americas and associated offices in Africa.

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