Bechtel and Parsons to construct chemical weapons demilitarization facility
The U.S. Department of Defense announced that Bechtel Parsons Bluegrass will construct and manage the facility, based at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky, through July 2023, according to GovConWire.com.
The cost-plus-incentive contract, worth $599,321,231, was solicited through the internet and bid on by two companies.
The Bluegrass Army Depot is located near Richmond, Kentucky, on 15,000 acres of land. The depot currently stores 523 tons of blister agent in projectiles and nerve agent in projectiles and rockets.
Bechtel Parsons Bluegrass was originally awarded a systems contract to design and build a chemical agent-destruction plant in 2003. After an evaluation process conducted the same year, the DOD determined that neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation would be the best method to destroy the munitions, GovConWire.com reports.
During the neutralization process, the chemical agent and energetic are separated, then chemically decomposed and, finally, neutralized by caustic or water hydrolysis. The process subjects the components to high temperatures and pressures, breaking them down into carbon dioxide, water and salts, according to Bechtel Parsons Bluegrass.