Case Study

Shotton Papermill 


Shotton Papermill Ltd / Eren




December 2021 - Ongoing

Location &


Our client, Shotton Papermill Ltd required the demolition and dismantling of the former papermill and associated structures, including slabs and foundations to make way for a new mill to be built on the site in Deeside. Shotton Mill remained an operational site whilst undergoing a major redevelopment to allow the mill to meet the worldwide need for cardboard packaging. The site was formally a steelworks, but in the 1980’s following the decline of steel production in the UK, two papermills were constructed in its place to produce newspapers. Now in a declining market, the paper mills, known as PM1 and PM2, were turned off in 2021 and a masterplan to reuse the site was developed.

Shotton Paper


Challenges & Solutions

  • Disconnection of services
  • Set up and plan the whole site to suit all trades and clients alike
  • Dismantling and demolition of existing structures
  • Removal of slabs and foundations
  • Removal of legacy concrete
  • Treatment of water discharge

PM1 was the first phase of the demolition and included the removal of the machinery along with all ancillary pulp storage, warehousing, engineering and main office structures.

Before any work could commence, the complete electrical disconnection was required as large parts of the site had remained operational.

Spm 2
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Tracing, isolating and diverting over 5,000 cables was required to make the structures safe for demolition. This involved significant coordination between both the client team and demolition team to ensure there was a robust isolation and handover procedure throughout the works.

The structural demolition to PM1 required a range of demolition techniques. The machinery was partially dismantled using the existing overhead cranes, which enabled the rollers, weighing up to 65 tonnes to be safely lifted from their housings, some of which were 10m from the ground, and placed in safe locations for processing.

The superstructure demolition required a high reach demolition excavator with a shear attachment, to cut the roof trusses which were 25m above the ground. This was followed by the massive columns being hot cut, and hinged to the ground, before being moved for secondary processing.

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The PM1 building was over 200 metres long and 26 metres wide and was sat on substantial piled foundations. Once the superstructure was removed, a range of excavators from 50 to 90 tonnes were deployed to explore and breakout the slabs, pile caps and other underground structures, notably the Mill Seat which was the backbone of the PM1 foundation.

As part of the ongoing preparation of the site for the new construction of PM3 (which has a larger footprint than the original structures) John F Hunt Regeneration had their scope of works extended to prepare the ground to enlarge the footprint for the future piling works. This work opened up a vast underground legacy of relic foundations from the original steelworks, all uncharted, and extensive in their mass and depth.

A robust plan to expose, sample and remove this underground legacy drew on the expertise of our Remediation technical staff to steer the ground preparation works in compliance with legislative requirements. This included the installation of a water treatment plant to enable ground water management, where the removal of foundations released potentially contaminated ground water.

Spm 1

The legacy steelwork foundations penetrated the ground to a depth in excess of 5 metres and often founded at, or below the natural water table level. This added to the technical strategy in completing the works rapidly to minimise ground water volumes.

The processing and crushing of all the excavated concrete produced a high grade recycled aggregate capable of being used in the construction works. Full reuse of the excavated material was implemented and hazardous waste removed from site for further processing and cleansing to create a non-hazardous material.


  • Working adjacent to a live operational site.
  • Complex services isolation and live services in close proximity.
  • Significant legacy underground structures and associated process residues.
  • Condensed delivery timescales to suit new papermill construction.
  • Massive structures forming the PM1 machine frame, rolls and foundations.
  • Special metals requiring highly skilled operatives to dismantle tanks, pipes and vessels using hot and cold cutting methods.
  • Pulp and other residues, most of which were combustible and contained within the miles of pipes within the facility.
  • Live operations, in particular a paper generation plant, currently supplying the national grid system located south of the works.
  • Live 32,000V transformers and associated switch gear located within part of the demolition zone.
  • Feel stock lorry movements supplying waste for power generation required strong traffic control and pedestrian segregation.
  • Interfaces with all other contractors undertaking separate Master Plan phases.
  • Evolving design for the new build requiring a flexible approach to site activities to assist in obtaining design information.


  • A very strong working relationship with the client with full collaboration and mutual support in resolving some very complex and unforeseen site and design requirements.
  • Additional new work was negotiated on the back of our collaboration to undertake the complex dismantling of the stainless-steel pulp recycling equipment, which was contained within a live environment.


  • Compliments from client on works conducted so far.
  • Expanded workload since commencement on site.
  • Regular meetings and updates with the existing team and those based at head office in Turkey, keeping them informed of works on site. No complaints received.
  • Introductions and further awarded packages of works for an earthworks contractor, also based in Turkey.