Environmental supervision of chemical plant decommissioning

Related theme: Site development 

Project information

2021 – 2022

Client: Evonik

TAUW contact person:

  • Imma Morera Blanch



Challenge – Soil characterisation during dismantling

Evonik contracted TAUW to supervise and support the decommissioning of one of its chemical plants north of Barcelona, focusing on environmental as well as health and safety aspects. The client intended to sell the decommissioned plant and real estate to a logistics company.

This project involved working simultaneously with the party conducting the decommissioning work without causing a delay in their schedule, as the contractor would be penalised. That meant soil characterisation could only be carried out as soon as site areas were cleared by the decommissioning company. Any contamination found in the soil had to be excavated in parallel with the dismantling work.

TAUW supported the client during this sale process by providing technical and environmental expertise. Although TAUW defended the client's interests, it remained independent at all times. Finally, the environmental permit was obtained from the authorities to develop another industrial activity on the site.



Solution -  Efficiency and selective excavations

We coordinated the decommissioning work and the soil characterisation in the most efficient way  possible. While the plant was in operation, soil investigations were not possible. Therefore, TAUW performed soil characterisations during the decommissioning work. Some hydrocarbon-impacted soils were encountered and we consequently performed selective excavations for them to be disposed as required.

Unexpected contamination was found during the project. We made every effort to provide efficient and tailor-made solutions to reduce resulting additional costs as much as possible for the client.

Communication with the environmental authorities was seamless throughout the project to expedite the permitting process in order to sell the site and allow continued industrial activity on the plot. We supported the client throughout the sale process, providing technical and environmental expertise in discussions with real estate agents, lawyers, consultants and potential buyers.



Impact – Recycling to reduce

The project was conducted in the most sustainable way possible. All the equipment that could be recycled or reused was given a second life. Materials such as iron, steel, copper and aluminium from dismantled structures were taken to the recycling plant. Materials from demolished buildings, such as concrete slabs and foundations, were crushed, analysed and if uncontaminated, reused on site as fill material for excavated areas. The origin and final destination of all materials are traceable.


Partnership – Independent professionalism

TAUW supported Evonik throughout this process by its independent environmental and engineering consultancy while being attentive to the client’s needs. During the contracting process of the project, TAUW Iberia collaborated internationally with TAUW Germany and thanks to this collaboration we were able to contract the project.


Pascal Endres, Director Environment, Safety, Health and Quality Evonik: “TAUW supported us through this DDD project and subsequent sale process in an efficient and spot on manner. Their strong technical background and client focus really helped us overcome challenges and played an important part to achieve a successful project outcome. TAUW proved to be a strong partner for both field and project activities as well as negotiations and interactions with both authorities and third parties. We are very satisfied with the approach and deliverables from TAUW in this project. I’ve seen light and shadow in this field, you are definitely bright as day. Looking forward to future collaboration between our companies.”

Our living ambition report 2022

Take a look at our annual report for many more great projects and stories. With our employees, clients and partners, TAUW makes a positive impact on the vital living environment. In our living ambition report we provide an overview of our achievements.

It's not just a daily job, it's... a living ambition 

Click here to visit


Do you have a question about this project?

Please get in contact with one of our consultants