HMAS Orion Decommissioning

Project Overview

Environmentally decommissioning the Orion Submarine and scrapping of the vessel.

The HMAS Orion was an Oberon Class submarine laid down by Scotts Ship Building and Engineering company at Greenock in Scotland on 6th October 1972, launched on 16th September and commissioned on 15th June 1977. The vessel weighed in excess of 1,500 tonnes.

McMahon Services were awarded the contract to environmentally decommission the Orion Submarine and scrap the vessel. The project consisted of a number of environmental hazards and obstacles.

McMahon Services had to take into account that the vessel had been docked for twelve years and carry out a full assessment of the vessel to ensure it was safe to take to sea again. A number of key elements that assist flotation had deteriorated over time.

The environmental cleanup of the vessel included removal of materials such as zinc chromate, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, beryllium, hazardous chemicals and liquids, including hydraulic oil, battery acids, diesel oil, lead paints, cooling water inhibitor and tectyl.

McMahon Services’ approach to this unique project was commended by the Defence Environmental Team. We carried out the project with a team of 20 personnel over a 3 month period with zero safety or environmental incidents.

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