A plan to develop a vast new solar energy park near the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant is only being made possible thanks to Tata Steel company Kalzip.
Kalzip – a Tata Steel business based in Koblenz, Germany, which manufactures metal building cladding – was awarded the contract for the construction elements of the specially-developed stainless steel interior and exterior panels of the building. The business transported its engineers and even machinery to Ukraine so manufacturing could take place on the site.
And while the building can now be considered safe, it means the area around it can be developed for other purposes with work expected to start later this year on a vast 1,000 megawatt solar farm.
The Chernobyl incident on the night of April 26, 1986 saw the uncontrolled release of radiation following an explosion in one of the plant’s reactors. The area around the reactor complex was evacuated and work later started on containing the site and making it safe. Initially a hastily constructed concrete sarcophagus was built, but this temporary structure has deteriorated and needed replacing with a more sustainable structure.
Following years of work on an internationally-funded project, a vast 29,000-tonne steel-clad arched building was slid across the damaged reactor block late last year preventing further release of potentially radioactive material for at least the next 100 years.
Kalzip Managing Director Joerg Schwall said: “This was an incredibly challenging project. Our engineers developed a unique building-cladding system to withstand a magnitude 6 earthquake, tornado-strength winds up to more than 200mph and temperature extremes ranging from -43C to +45C.”
“We developed a number of innovative solutions for this project which we will now be able to use to help other customers.”
Engineers from Kalzip formed and installed almost 170,000m2 of stainless steel cladding to the inner and outer surfaces of the giant building – enough to cover more than 135 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The aim of the project was to transform the Chernobyl site into an ecologically safe state. The project was financed by various donor countries; the main part of the building costs of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) are borne by the G8 states and the EU.
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Kalzip is part of Tata Steel’s European operations. Kalzip was introduced to the market in 1968 and is mainly known as the world-wide leading standing seam system for roofing and façade claddings made of aluminium. The manufactured construction systems are marketed under the world-wide registered trade mark Kalzip. With its production sites in Germany, United Kingdom, China, Singapore and the United States of America as well as its more than 40 sales/consultation offices and agencies, Kalzip has a strong presence around the world. To learn more, click here
About Tata Steel’s European operations
Tata Steel is one of Europe's leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy and aerospace. Tata Steel works with customers to develop new steel products that give them a competitive edge. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with a steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and 75,000 employees across five continents.