Courtesy of the Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – After a long journey from Ponca City, Okla., the contained burn chamber that will be used by Explosive Service International to dispose of more than 15 million pounds of M6 propellant and Clean Burning Igniter has arrived at the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden in Minden, La., Feb. 11.
The trip included a 127-mile trip by truck and trailer in Oklahoma to the Tulsa Port of Catoosa where it was shipped to Louisiana and arrived at the Port of Natchitoches, Feb. 2. The burn chamber departed by truck on Monday, Feb. 8, for the 80-mile journey to Camp Minden.
“This has been a long journey over the last three years to get to this point – the arrival of the burn chamber onto Camp Minden. It is important to the Louisiana National Guard that we safely dispose of the M6 propellant, and today we got one step closer to seeing that happen,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG.
A project this size would not have been possible without the support of numerous local, state and federal agencies, law enforcement and concerned citizen groups.
“We want to sincerely thank our community and state, the hard working local law enforcement agencies, utility companies, and all of our local, state and federal agencies who have worked together to make this a reality,” said Col. Pete Schneider, state public affairs officer for the LANG. “This has really been a team effort all around and would not have been possible without everyone’s participation and support.”
Dean Schellhase, project manager at ESI, said this burn chamber is the largest in the world and the most technologically advanced explosives abatement system available on the market today to make the quality of air released well within regulatory standards.
“ESI has been a principle in the explosives industry for 28 years, almost 29 now, with an impeccable safety record. Safety is paramount in this project as well as anything, but also the environmental safety for what we are going to be doing here, making sure it’s clean air going out to the communities and surrounding people,” said Schellhase.
Burning of the explosives is expected to start in April. Once testing is complete and the chamber is fully operational, it will take just less than a year to destroy the explosives.