Grangemouth residents' piling woes will continue in September

Piling work which has been driving hundreds of Grangemouth householders to distraction is set to continue next month with some big hits still to come.

By James Trimble
Monday, 31st August 2020, 9:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 11:30 am

According to French construction firm CNIM, Earls Gate Energy Centre, located in the town’s Earls Gate Park development, is reaching the final phases of piling with over 85 per cent of piles completed.

While the “latest programme of activity” will continue intermittently until October, the “loudest” piles are due to be installed during the first two weeks of September.

Residents as far away as Bowhouse Road have been able to hear the pounding of the piling work.

Construction of CalaChem's new £210m Earls Gate Energy Centre is ongoing with piling work taking place throughout September

“It sounds like a constant dripping tap in my wall,” said one householder. “God knows what it must sound like for people who live closer.”

CNIM site manager Adrien Balvet said: “Unfortunately some of these sessions are loud and we are very sorry for the disturbance this is causing the local community. The steel piles that are currently being installed on site are essential to construction and there is no practical way they can be avoided.

“Obstructions in the ground can also cause piling to be noisier and we are encountering far more obstructions than usual.”

The project aims to construct a facility to replace an existing gas-fired energy plant that has come to the end of its operating life, will provide heat and power to firms like nearby CalaChem and local industry, while exporting surplus electricity to the National Grid.

The new energy centre will be located in Grangemouth's Earls Gate Park development

Experts are monitoring acoustic levels twice a day and an independent consultant is carrying out noise and vibration assessments twice a week in the

closest residential areas.

According to CNIM, these reports show noise levels in residential areas are under required standards although the Earls Gate Energy Centre bosses understand this is still having an impact.

Following feedback from the local community, the project has reduced the number of rigs being used from two to one so there are more breaks in the noise. It has also invested in a more expensive but quieter piling technique that can be used from around mid-September for a different type of piling.

Most of the remaining piles after this time will make very little noise.

Mr Balvet said: “We are very grateful to local people for their patience and understanding so far, and we ask them to bear with us during this latest phase of piling. We hope to be able to complete it as soon as possible.”

CNIM say commissioning of the facility is due to start next year and the plant is expected to be fully operational in mid-2022, creating around 30 operational jobs which will be full-time, permanent positions with full training offered.

These jobs will be advertised locally and it is expected that a proportion of the new workforce will be from the local area.

Visit www.earlsgateconstruction.co.uk for more information on the piling or to contact the project.