CONTINUATION OF HULME HALL BRINE BOREHOLE DRILLING PROGRAMME AT HOLFORD BRINEFIELDS’ HULME HALL SITE
Further to our previous communication back in 2017, I am writing to provide you with further information regarding continued work on our brine borehole drilling programme at our Holford Brinefields’ Hulme Hall Site.
As a reminder, this work programme is critical, as it provides a secure supply of brine for use at our manufacturing operations at Runcorn.
At Runcorn we use brine as the basic raw material in the production of chlorine, caustic soda and other chemicals that are used in everyday items such as water purification, PVC, paints and detergents through to medicines, personal care products and computer technology. The brine we produce is also used by our Salt Business at Runcorn, essential for food preservation, and Tata Chemicals at Lostock, Northwich, essential for soaps and detergents.
Controlled solution mining for brine is tried and tested and has been carried out safely at Holford Brinefields for more than 80 years, for more information on the solution mining process see Appendix 1.
In 2017/2018 we started a programme, that involved the drilling of 4 new boreholes at the Hulme Hall Site, along with the associated infrastructure. The main construction work for this phase is now complete and those boreholes are now starting to produce brine. All that remains for that phase is the site restoration which will begin as soon as we are able to do so. For continued reliable brine supply into the future it is necessary to develop another 4 boreholes in 2020/21. Based on our predictions for the development of our business we anticipate that phased drilling will take place for the foreseeable future.
As with the previous phase, this phase will require a programme of civil works including the creation of new site access roads and the installation of pipelines and stone wellhead compounds. This work is due to commence by the end of June 2020 and we estimate that it should be complete by mid-2021. I enclose a plan of the works for your information (Appendix 2). The actual drilling of the new boreholes at Hulme Hall Site is expected to take place late 2020 or early 2021, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed.
Obviously given the current Coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic we will be following the UK Government guidance very closely and will be adhering to strict social distancing measures for a work site. We also plan to have fewer people on site than would be normal for this type of project and we will be providing workers with increased changing, washing and dining facilities to enable social distancing. We will also be increasing the size of the on-site contractor car park to accommodate an increased number of vehicles. Please see attached COVID Secure statement from Murphy, the contractors who will be carrying out this part of the project, (Appendix 3).
Working hours during this phase of the programme will be 7:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and 8:00am – 2:00pm on Saturday. Workers, equipment and materials will only enter the site via prescribed routes (marked with a red dotted line on the site map, Appendix 3). We will take measures to ensure that workers and delivery drivers do not park in the surrounding roads or villages. In addition, normal agricultural work will continue across the Holford Brinefield and this is a busy time for our farmers.
For clarification, this drilling programme is not part of a Gas Storage Project.
Our work programme is covered by an existing planning permission with details agreed by Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2010. However, we have continued to liaise with the local authority to ensure that they are informed of this phase of the work programme. Also, because of the length of this work programme we have planned our work to keep disturbance and inconvenience to the local community to a minimum. Traffic movement control is also a requirement of our planning permission and we have designed our programme to work within those restrictions.
In the meantime, if you would like further information about the work programme for the new boreholes please contact Andy Murphy on telephone 01928 517255/ email .
Yours sincerely JON WHIELDON BRINE & WATER SITE MANAGER, INOVYN