Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) leaders discussed a revised project schedule as part of a progress update to stakeholders in a March 8 quarterly public meeting.
“First and foremost, December and January were focused on conducting a re-plan,” said Jeff Brubaker, site project manager, BGCAPP. This scheduling re-plan followed a notice provided last fall that project funding for 2017 would not fully support both main plant systemization and advancement of the Explosive Destruction Technology (EDT).
Brubaker said main plant systemization will conclude in late 2019 and GB operations will begin in early 2020, followed by VX destruction. At the conclusion of all nerve-agent destruction, the mustard-agent destruction will be completed in the EDT facility in 2023.
Ron Hink, project manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, noted systemization was 67 percent complete and discussed the progress made on several plant systems, including testing of fire-alarm systems, operation of the Energetics Batch Hydrolyzer drums for the first time and testing of several main processing building rooms for ventilation leakage.
“That’s making sure our pressures are right so we get a gradient across the facility,” Hink said. “This will keep the (agent) contamination where we want it and won’t allow it to escape into clean areas.”
Brubaker and Hink also discussed the project’s economic impact after the re-plan.
“It looks like the schedule has been extended a couple years,” said David Benge, member, Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board. “When I count up the wages, it looks like it may be $200 million more overall.”
Brubaker confirmed the schedule has shifted to the right about a year and said he would expect to see about a $200 million to $250 million increase.
Conrad Whyne, program executive officer, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, attended the meeting and was recognized for his efforts for the program as he announced his upcoming retirement.
The next quarterly public meeting is scheduled for June 14.