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History This Octel site in Amlwch was chosen in 1949 to collect bromine from the sea, it was picked by H Fossett and R O Gibson because of the strong tidal flow, the depth of the sea in the area and gulf stream sea temperatures. The plant was built and finished construction in 1952, ready to start collecting the bromine out of the sea. The site was officially owned by Octel until 1989 when the production of bromine chemicals became more important which resulted in Great Lakes purchasing the site due to them specialising in bromine chemistry. In 1995, one of the BOT2’s that was used for collecting bromine chemicals was badly damaged by a fire that occurred on the site. Two of the 30-metre towers were destroyed and around 5 people were injured. Octel bromine works started their operations in 1952 and closed in 2004. Canatxx purchased the site and announced plans to turn the site into a liquid natural gas storage site. Our Visit This is one site that we have kept our eye on for a while, but never got around to visiting. Finally, we decided to pay the site a little visit and we were not disappointed with what it had to offer. We made sure to visit on a sunny, bright day so we could spend as much time as we needed to explore the whole site. It took us a good few hours to explore the whole site but was definitely worth the time and drive there.
This is a spectacular location for sure, surrounded by wonderful dramatic coastline. If you've got time I'd recommend bringing a packed lunch!! You could be watching the waves crash against the rugged cliffs, maybe if you're lucky you might spot a seal or a puffin passing by. Here in 1951 plans were set up to build a plant which would extract bromine from sea water and by adding sulphuric acid would then create liquid bromine. The bromine was then reacted with ethylene to produce Dibromoethane which was a key component of leaded petrol. With the phasing out of leaded petrol in the 1990's the plant diversified into other bromine chemicals. Production finally stopped altogether in March 2004. Many of the buildings have been demolished but there was enough standing to make this high on my wish list - plenty of natural decay and lots of interesting stuff left on site. Its been fairly undisturbed due to a combination of its remote location, CCTV and onsite security. Sadly though a recent fire has badly damaged one of the buildings (not quite sure which one). The photos in this report are a compilation. I had to make a return visit because the first time I somehow missed the conference room and the main attraction for me - the medical area. I really like how much variety there is, hence why there's quite a few pics
History taken from Amlwch History- In early 1920 an American Engineer called Thomas Midgley discovered that a chemical called Tetraethyl lead (TEL) was an excellent material for preventing Ã¢â‚¬Å“knockÃ¢â‚¬Â in engines. It was also discovered that a chemical made from bromine called dibromoethane (DBE) was very effective in preventing the build up of lead inside engines. A number of chemical plants were constructed in the United States to make and blend TEL & DBE together into a material which was marketed as Ã¢â‚¬Å“antiknock compoundÃ¢â‚¬Â The effect of this compound when added to petrol was to dramatically increase the power obtainable from engines and hence miles per gallon. In the late 1930s the UK government feared a war and realising how important antiknock compound would be in the production of high quality fuels for military aircraft ,decided that production facilities should be set up in the UK as a matter of urgency. In 1938 a plant to produce TEL was built at Northwich in Cheshire. A DBE plant was built at Hayle in Cornwall. The plants were commissioned in 1940 just before the Battle of Britain. The use of anti knock compound in our aircraft used in the battle allowed our planes to fly faster and climb higher than the enemyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s aircraft. In 1953 a bromine and DBE production site was built at Amlwch. It was important that the seawater from which the bromine is extracted is as clean as possible, could be replenished with fresh seawater quickly and was warmed by the Gulf Stream. Three factors which influenced the decision to built the new plant at Amlwch. Quite an interesting read and great little place to explore, sadly some of the more interesting buildings have been demolished, still quite a bit to see! Another visit is on the cards as i ran out of time and views from the water tower are a must! Nice to see the staff had a great camaraderie. Rip Tony. Theres also this sexy beast nearby Cant wait to go back!