Workers at the Pantex High Explosives Pressing Facility this month passed the 85% construction completion mark on construction of the 45,000 square-foot facility, which will combine High Explosives (HE) operations from numerous outdated buildings into one state-of-the-art facility. Completion of the project will help to bolster Pantex’s status as the Department of Energy’s High Explosives Center of Excellence for HE manufacturing.
The roof has been completed, officially enclosing the exterior of the facility, which allows the contractor to continue work inside during inclement weather. The roadway paving around the facility has started, which will allow for all-weather access.
The new state-of-the-art HE presses, which take advantage of advanced isostatic pressing techniques, have been installed. The process equipment has arrived and is being installed. All Blast-Resistant Doors have been installed. Offices have been built and are being painted.
The major remaining work activities include installation of overhead cranes, flooring and mechanical/electrical systems.
Acting NNSA Administrator Bruce Held and NPO Manager Steve Erhart toured the HEPF on November 7th.
Construction of the $65 million facility began in late 2011 and is expected to be complete in May, 2014. B&W Pantex has begun pre start up activities to meet the CD-4 (approval to start operations) date of September 2016.
The construction effort is being managed by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the design effort/plant support is being led by B&W Pantex with a design subcontract to CH2M Hill.