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Octel Bromine, Almwck, Anglesea, North Wales, July 2020

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HughieD

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1. The History
The roots of Octel date back to the second world war as a producer of anti-knock compounds for aircraft fuel. Engine “knocking” was a common problem, when the mixture of air and fuel didn’t burn efficiently. Set up in Northwich in 1940, it was initially owned by the government and operated by ICI. It then became the Associated Ethyl Co before later being renamed Asociated Octel.

After their purchase of a new site in 1948, Octel looked for a site to produce bromine to supply the works with. Almwck was considered a suitable site so in 1952 a plant was set up there to extract bromine from seawater. The site was chosen because of the depth of the sea in the area, the strong tidal flow and Gulf Stream sea temperatures and was the largest bromine plant of its kind in the world

For more than 50 years the plat produced bromine and at its peak the plant employed 120 workers. In 1994, one of the biggest fires ever seen on Anglesey started at the Octel plant. Around 5 people were injured, and a 15-mile exclusion zone was declared around the island’s north coast after rubber sheeting in one of the plant’s towers caught fire.

The development of unleaded petrol when the health effects of lead in vehicle exhaust gases became better understood reduced the demand for Octel’s anti-knock additive. Hence the Octel factory diversified into other bromine products and was taken over by Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. In 2003, the corporation decided to close the works with the loss of more than 100 jobs. Two years later in 2005 the plant was shut completely. The site then went through a 9-month process of decontamination.

Old site plan:

Octel Site LayOut by HughieDW, on Flickr

2. The Explore
Had this place on my list for a while. Ended up on our holidays literally 5 minutes down the road so it was a no-brainer to pop over to see what was left. I knew that a large part of the site had been demo’ed but was surprised at the extent of what remained. The place is a complete walk in. Even in its pretty trashed state there was still a lot to see and hold your attention for a couple of hours.

3. The Pictures

img7777 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Started by going to the far side of the site and looking at the seawater pump house:

img7737bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7734 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7722 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 14 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 16 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 19 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7720 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7716 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7713 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7718 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Only one of the blowing out towers (BOT1) remains after BOT2 burnt down:

img7735 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7729 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7728 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7727 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to what’s left of the process labs:

img7748 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 23 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7738 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 27 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 24 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 25 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7742 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7743 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7745 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The main sub-station has got a lot of stuff in it still:

Amlwch 26 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7751 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Sub-station No.2:

img7754 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7755 by HughieDW, on Flickr

These offices where porta cabins on two levels. They were absolutely smashed to f*ck which is a shame as there looked like there was a lot of interesting stuff in them at one time:

img7756 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7757 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7759 by HughieDW, on Flickr

A few from the workshops, offices, and stores building:

img7761 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7765 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7766 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img7740 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 29 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Reception office block:

img7776 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The Central Works and safety centre:

Amlwch 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Amlwch 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

HughieD

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robparqua

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Great pics and report its not far from me so really need to get on up there .. just to point out its Amlwch , Anglesey.. cheers.
 

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