Balco Hay Emergency Concrete Slab Works

Client McMahon Services
Location Balaklava, SA
Duration January - March 2017

Project overview

In late January 2017, Balco Hay’s commercial hay processing plant near Balaklava in South Australia’s mid north was gutted by fire destroying hundreds of tonnes of hay and hampering future production.

Once the fire was extinguished and Balco Hay had assessed the damage, they engaged McMahon Service’s Demolition and Decommissioning Division to demolish and remediate the plant, clearing the way for the future construction of a replacement plant building.

Not all of the hay production equipment was damaged in the fire and Balco Hay was keen to continue production, despite not having a safe building to work in. For the short term, all they would require were two concrete slabs totalling 437m² on which to install the plant.

Various local concreters were asked to provide a quote, faced with the challenge of placing 85m³ of concrete within a few days. This provided only four days for the concrete to set in time so that the plant could be operational and producing hay by 20 March 2017 — less than a week away.

While other concrete contractors were busy assessing the site, the Demolition and Decommissioning Division called in McMahon Services’ partner concreting business Ballestrin, who were able to provide on the spot a statement of requirements and quote for the slab works.

To ensure the extremely tight deadlines were met, the concrete works were included as a variation to the McMahon Services demolition concrete significantly speeding up the engagement process. Ballestrin then liaised with the Structural Engineer to modify the designs and provide suggestions for ease of construction. These modifications were unanimously accepted and included in a revised drawing by the Structural Engineer.

Excavation, steel reinforcement installation and concreting teams were quickly organised and works commenced the next day. After the remaining structure was demolished, production equipment urgently required two concrete slabs totalling 435m² to operate on. Ballestrin completed this element in two days and then undertook further works with delivering approximately 400m³ of concrete works to support plant infrastructure and to get the plant operational again.

Required materials were procured and delivered to site promptly. All job safe environment analysis (JSEA), inspection and test plans (ITPs) and testing documentation were already in place so there was no delay with respect to project health and safety risks. Over 2,000 work hours were completed by Ballestrin with a peak workforce of ten personnel.