Ex-HMAS Tobruk

Birdon is preparing to scuttle the ex-HMAS Tobruk off the coast of Bundaberg in mid-2018.

The Tobruk is being sunk to create a world-class dive site and tourism attraction for the region.

Ex-HMAS Sydney

The Department of Defence awarded Birdon the contract to disassemble and recycle ex-HMAS Sydney. The work includes removal of dangerous goods and waste materials, removal of valuable materials for recycling and final dismantling and secure destruction.

The project required careful planning with consideration for ITAR regulations as well as relevant state, federal and international regulations.

Key phases in the project included:

  • Receipt of Ex HMAS Sydney at Common User Facility, Western Australia
  • Preparation for dismantling and destruction
  • Dangerous goods and waste materials removal
  • Valuable metals removal
  • Final dismantling and destruction
  • Finalisation of all documentation and¬†reporting.


M113 Armoured Vehicles Disposal

Birdon prepared and destroyed a fleet of 201 x M113 Armoured Vehicles for the Australian Department of Defence. All vehicles were decontaminated and made safe to transport before final destruction.

The process included the removal of fuels, contaminated water, lead-acid batteries, loose non-metallic items and dangerous goods including asbestos. Birdon used a Thermo Scientific MicroPHAZIR asbestos analyser to determine which items contained asbestos prior to the removal. This meant asbestos could be removed and disposed of at a licensed facility before final destruction.

Birdon sought approval as a temporary Waste Transfer Facility for this project.The vehicles were destroyed using a mobile shear and the scrap was sold as melting feed for foundry applications.This project was completed well ahead of schedule, on budget and with no injuries or accidents.

F-111 Disposal

The F-111 Fleet of Aircraft served as key defence assets between 1968 and 2010. The Department of Defence required a fully qualified and experienced contractor to successfully and safely dispose of the fleet and its critical spares.

Birdon was awarded the contract which included the recycling of valuable metals as well as disposal of hazardous materials such as boron, asbestos, fuel, various oils and greases. These items needed to be safely and responsibly destroyed and disposed of before the recyclable metal values could be recovered.

Birdon set up a secure, undercover, bunded, pre-destruction preparation area where hazardous materials were removed and contained. This reverse engineering process ensured only clean metals would be processed into scrap.

At the completion of the destruction and disposal project, the work site was remediated and demobilised before final environmental checks were done to ensure that the site was free of contamination.

Ex-HMAS Canberra Scuttling

Birdon environmentally sanitised, prepared and sunk the decommissioned the ex-HMAS Canberra as an artificial reef and dive site.

The project was undertaken in compliance with stringent environmental regulations and diver safety standards.

Birdon towed the ship 1686 Nm from Rockingham, Western Australia to Geelong, Victoria in June 2008. Between July 2008 – October 2009 the ship was cleaned and prepared in accordance with the guidelines used by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA).

The ship was confirmed ready in October 2009 and on October 4, 2009 Birdon towed the vessel to the selected site near Point Lonsdale where it was orientated prior to being sunk.

The ship was sunk without incident and now lies in approximately 28 metres of water, resting upright on its keel, with the top of the mast 5 metres below the surface at low tide.

Fremantle Class Patrol Boats

Birdon scrapped 12 decommissioned Fremantle Class Patrol Boats (FCPBs) on behalf of the Australian Department of Defence.

The vessels, which were 42 metres in length and weighed 220 tonnes, were towed to Darwin Ship Repair and Engineering (DSRE) for dismantling and processing.

Birdon undertook all aspects of the disposal including project planning, contract management, quality environmental and safety management, and commercial support.

The disposal process itself included the removal and safe disposal of hazardous and dangerous materials including oils, fuels, asbestos and other general non-metallic items. Following decontamination, all recoverable metals were destroyed and processed as foundry feed. As part of the contract terms, high-value mechanical items, including 24 x MTU Detroit Diesel Engines were retained for preservation, refurbishment and on-sale to the commercial market. At the completion of the destruction and disposal project, the work site was remediated and demobilised.