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Verline hoisting and handling equipment supply overhead cranes to remove toxic waste

STEPHAN SA, the dealer-integrator of VERLINDE equipment, has built two overhead cranes with a span of 45 m and a capacity of 16 tonnes to excavate the waste on the Bonfol industrial landfill site in Switzerland.

To decontaminate the clay pit the Basle chemical industry used as a landfill from 1961 to 1976, an enormous construction site has started at Bonfol, in the Swiss Jura. Before excavating the toxic waste from the ground to incinerate it, the area, as big as four football pitches, had to be covered with a colossal structure supported by nine steel arches. After completion, the site will be replanted with trees in 2015.

A limited partnership, the BCI, was set up within which the main chemical industries in Basle (Ciba, Clariant, Novartis, Roche, etc.) accept their joint liability with regard to the security of the Bonfol industrial landfill. The companies which are members of the BCI have set up the BCI Betriebs-AG, responsible for planning and carrying out the decontamination.

To build the excavation hall, 14 hectares of forest had to be cut down, and 110,000 cubic metres of earth moved to prepare the site for the construction. The twin-boom suspended cranes built by Stephan SA, and equipped with VERLINDE EUROBLOC VCTS chain hoists, are used to excavate and transport the waste to the conveyor cars. A grab with a capacity of 3 cubic metres, comes down and picks up the waste. It is then drawn upwards and moves semi-automatically towards a loading area where the waste is deposited in a car. This waste is then emptied into receiving bunkers for preparation so that the material is stable and safe for transport. The waste is then packed into 10 m3 containers specially designed and smell-tight, which are then sent by train to hazardous waste incineration plants.

"The overhead cranes, with a 35 m range, and with booms 45 m long, are remote controlled by radio link from a protected and secure control room, outside the excavation hall. There are no personnel in or around the excavation location" explained Anton AEBY, the project head and responsible for security at the BCI Betriebs-AG.

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