Cape le Grande

Cape Le Grand was an Aluminium Harbour Tug in operation since 1985.

While the vessel was on hardstand for maintenance, the decision was made to retire her from the fleet and have her recycled. As the vessel was on hardstand, a solution was required to conduct the project on an as is, where is basis. This added an extra level of complexity as the project needed to be conducted in the vicinity of many other multi-million-dollar yachts.

Birdon prepared a solution and were contracted to safely deconstruct and recycle the vessel in accordance with local, state, and national regulations.

Birdon established our workforce and company owned equipment on site to commence the project.

All metals were recovered and recycled; all waste material was taken to a licensed landfill.

Ex-HMAS Tobruk

Birdon was contracted to environmentally sanitise, prepare and scuttle the decommissioned ex-HMAS Tobruk for use as an artificial reef and dive site in Hervey Bay. The ex-HMAS Tobruk dive wreck is a partnership between the Queensland Government, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils, which has created a world-class dive site in the Great Sandy Marine Park. As a part of this contract, Birdon also installed mooring buoys and navigational markers.

Birdon hired local personnel to carry out the preparation activities and held a number of community days as well as hosting more specialised focus groups. To protect marine life Birdon scuttled the vessel in Hervey Bay without the use of explosives, which also meant there were no environmental protests associated with the scuttling.

During the scuttling process, the ship listed to its starboard side and landed on the seabed on its side. Birdon worked closely with the Queensland government to ensure the safety of the dive site. This included cutting new access holes and enlarging others to ensure the safety of divers and to offer greater accessibility to this unique piece of Australian military history. Birdon’s management received sincere appreciation from the Queensland government for the successful completion of all rectification works which were carried out at Birdon’s expense.

The dive site was opened to recreational divers on the 25th February 2019 and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Over one hundred species of fish, including grouper, trevally and wrasse have made a home of the Ex-HMAS Tobruk and an abundance of marine life have colonised the metal surfaces of the wreck.


Ex-HMAS Sydney

The Department of Defence awarded Birdon the contract to disassemble and recycle Ex-HMAS Sydney. The work includes removal of dangerous goods and waste materials, removal of valuable materials for recycling and final dismantling and secure destruction.

The project required careful planning with consideration for ITAR regulations as well as relevant state, federal and international regulations. The project was undertaken in Henderson, Western Australia and allowed for the employment of 20 local employees and additional subcontractors for different aspects of the job.

Key phases in the project included:

  • Receipt of Ex-HMAS Sydney at the Common User Facility, Western Australia
  • Preparation for dismantling and destruction
  • Dangerous goods and waste materials removal
  • Valuable metals removal
  • Final dismantling and destruction
  • Finalisation of all documentation and reporting.

Birdon has a goal in all disposal work, not just to reach, but to exceed the expectations of clients and to guarantee complete destruction of items. This is achieved through the implementation of Birdon’s unique end-of-life recycling processes.

Throughout the disposal of Ex-HMAS Sydney Birdon co-operated with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to safely remove items of historic significance from the ship. Birdon understands the impact of disposing of an Ex-HMAS vessel. Having worked with a range of people who have served aboard vessels with the RAN, Birdon is committed to recognising those who served. Birdon designed and commissioned 300 commemorative plaques made from gunmetal removed from the vessel. These plaques were then made available to ex-service men and women and supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity. It is a small gesture, but one that has meant a great deal to the recipients.

This project was successfully completed, on budget and within the specified time frame.

CR Gangways

As a part of the Overseas Passenger Terminal Upgrade in Circular Quay in Sydney, the redundant gangways needed to be removed. The project had to be conducted outside of operating days to ensure that there was no impact on operations at the site. To complicate the project just a little more, the gangways had been coated in lead-based paint.

Prior to any works taking place on site, Birdon prepared detailed management plans to set out how the project would be undertaken.

The Gangways were carefully removed in sections and loaded onto trucks for recycling.

At the completion of the project, an outgoing dilapidation report was provided to the customer.

Volvox Anglia

The Volvox Anglia was a 1300 tonne Split Hopper Trailer Suction Dredge. Built in 1980, and with a hopper volume of over 1200m3, the dredge recovered millions of tonnes of material throughout its lifetime.

In December 2017 she was retired following a productive stint recovering sand to be used in concrete. Birdon were contacted to ensure that the vessel could be safely deconstructed and recycled in accordance with all local regulations

The project was completed on time, on budget and with no incidents or accidents.

BKA Goomai

Having served on multiple projects across the country including many oil and gas projects, the time came for BKA Goomai to cease service.

Birdon was contacted to safely deconstruct and recycle the vessel in accordance with local, state, and national regulations.

Birdon provided all labour, equipment, transport, cranage and recycling services to complete the project on time, on budget and without any incidents or accidents.

All metals were recovered and recycled; all waste material was taken to a licensed landfill.

Hy-Tec Mines

Over many years Hy-Tec used a portion of land to store plant and equipment that had become redundant. When it was realised that much of the equipment had become surplus to requirements, Birdon were called to clean up the area.

The team at Hy-Tec marked out items that were still good to be used as spares, then Birdon worked around those items, cleaning up the remainder.

Items included steel, tyres, machinery, timber, and other non-metallic items. The site was screened and levelled to ensure the land could easily be accessed at the completion of the project.

Andrea Australis

Birdon took possession of the Andrea Australis while on hardstand in Sydney. The vessel was carefully cut in half and reduced in height to ensure that it was an easily transportable size. All non-recyclable waste was removed and taken to licensed landfill.

The project was completed with careful consideration to ensure no damage was caused to any of the multi-million-dollar yachts in close vicinity.

M113 Armoured Vehicles Disposal

Birdon prepared and destroyed a fleet of 201 x M113 Armoured Vehicles for the Australian Department of Defence. All vehicles were decontaminated and made safe to transport before final destruction.

The process included the removal of fuels, contaminated water, lead-acid batteries, loose non-metallic items and dangerous goods including asbestos. Birdon used a Thermo Scientific MicroPHAZIR asbestos analyser to determine which items contained asbestos prior to the removal. This meant asbestos could be removed and disposed of at a licensed facility before final destruction.

Birdon sought approval as a temporary Waste Transfer Facility for this project.The vehicles were destroyed using a mobile shear and the scrap was sold as melting feed for foundry applications.This project was completed well ahead of schedule, on budget and with no injuries or accidents.

F-111 Disposal

The F-111 Fleet of Aircraft served as key defence assets between 1968 and 2010. The Department of Defence required a fully qualified and experienced contractor to successfully and safely dispose of the fleet and its critical spares.

Birdon was awarded the contract which included the recycling of valuable metals as well as disposal of hazardous materials such as boron, asbestos, fuel, various oils and greases. These items needed to be safely and responsibly destroyed and disposed of before the recyclable metal values could be recovered.

Birdon set up a secure, undercover, bunded, pre-destruction preparation area where hazardous materials were removed and contained. This reverse engineering process ensured only clean metals would be processed into scrap.

At the completion of the destruction and disposal project, the work site was remediated and demobilised before final environmental checks were done to ensure that the site was free of contamination.