Dismantling vs. Demolition, what are the differences? The terms plant dismantling and plant demolition are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are major differences between them in the context of decommissioning an industrial facility like an oil refinery.

At Midwest Steel, we provide a range of professional services which include demolition and dismantling as well as handling surplus process equipment and scrap metal. With over 50 years of experience, Midwest Steel is also proactively engaged in raising awareness about the value of the services we provide. It’s helpful to understand the differences between demolition and dismantling and the advantages each provides. This brief article explains both. 

Plant Dismantling and Tank Dismantling

When a plant has reached the end of its useful life, its assets are needed at another location, and/or the site needs to be expanded or repurposed, plant dismantling is the usual procedure. 

Plant dismantling typically refers to a project performed at a chemical plant, gas processing plant, or similar industrial facility where the facility or its components have significant potential to be redeployed within the plant owner’s organization, or potential for resale on the used equipment market.  

This may include modular facilities, like cryogenic gas plants that are practical to dismantle and redeploy.  It may also include individual equipment items with a wide range of applications, like ASME pressure vessels, propane tanks, reactors, and heat exchangers, particularly for items with long lead times. 

Ideally, the plant owner will partner with a contractor like Midwest Steel that has decades of experience in dismantling plants and selling used process equipment. This is the best way forward to minimize overhead expenses and maximize their investment recovery.

Plant Demolition and Tank Demolition

Plant demolition generally refers to the act of tearing down or destroying the structures. While it often involves separating materials for recycling, plant demolition is generally a more aggressive and involved procedure. Plant demolition is a popular option when a facility and its equipment have become obsolete due to technological advancements or deterioration.  

In many cases, a plant owner chooses to remove the obsolete and aging equipment and process units and replace them with new production facilities that are more efficient, and produce a more profitable range of products.  For those projects, most of the demolished equipment will be sold as scrap metal rather than being reused or sold on the secondary market.  

Time is of the essence for plant demolition projects, as the chief objective is usually getting the plant back into operation efficiently and safely. This way, the owner’s new product can reach the marketplace as quickly as possible. 

Plant demolition requires hiring a partner like Midwest Steel who has a proven track record in order to ensure smooth performance and timely completion. Midwest Steel also brings a presence in the recycling industry to the table, which helps to maximize the scrap metal credit that is passed through to the plant owner. 

When it Comes to Plant Dismantling and Demolition – Experience Matters 

Whether Midwest Steel performs a plant demolition or dismantling for you, we always follow federal, state, and local regulations and execute the work in a safe and environmentally sound manner. If you are decommissioning a refinery entirely, then there will usually be both demolition and dismantling occurring to some extent. 

Of course, every project is a bit different. Midwest Steel has over a half-century of experience in the field. We take a very pragmatic approach, assessing each site carefully and discussing the options with our client so we can understand their goals and make appropriate recommendations. 

Midwest Steel: Your Trusted Industrial Demolition and Dismantling Partner 

Many of the largest petrochemical companies in the world trust Midwest Steel to handle their critical plant demolitions and dismantling because of our over 50 years of experience. Decades in this business have allowed us to develop processes and procedures that get jobs done quickly and safely while saving you money. 
No industrial demolition project is too big or too small for Midwest Steel. We handle them all. Find out Midwest Steel can help get your next project done on time and on budget by calling (713) 991-7843 today.