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Coal extraction to reduce mine risk at Newcastle redevelopment

Work on the new Science Central mixed use development in Newcastle has got underway with removal of coal deposits below the site.

The extraction on the site for developer Science Central Partnership – a joint venture of Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University – is being carried out in a bid to reduce the risk of uncharted mine workings and reduce the volume of cement needed.

Mott MacDonald, which is providing engineering services for the redevelopment of the former Scottish & Newcastle Tyne Brewery site, has said that two shallow coal seams will be excavated to a depth of approximately 15m and then backfilled with engineered fill material.

“The excavation of coal removes the need to pump cementitious grout into coal mine voids, thus reducing the use of cement in the project, together with locating historic mineshafts,” said Mott MacDonald project director Saeed Chaudhry.

Mott MacDonald is also providing advice on a site-wide energy strategy and is currently reviewing the potential for a 1.8km deep geothermal borehole to heat the new office, retail and residential development.

Construction on site is expected to start next year with the development completed in 2014.

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