Los Angeles port set to start over on coke shed demolition bids
Bids submitted by seven firms to demolish two massive storage domes at the Port of Los Angeles face rejection by the port's governing board Thursday.
The move follows the port's declaration that the three lowest bidders were 'non-responsive,' meaning the submitted bids did not meet certain requirements set forth in the original bid applications.
The port is set to launch a second round of bidding for the estimated $1.35 million project on Friday.
In September, the five-member port commission approved the demolition of the 12-story concrete domes — each large enough to cover a football field — that once enclosed piles of petroleum coke. The government has labeled components of 'pet coke,' an oil refinery by-product exported overseas for use in power plants and the manufacture of steel, as cancer causing materials.
Erected in 1999 to minimize coke dust emission, the domes were part of the 120-acre LAXT coke and coal facility that has since stopped operating, following a lengthy legal dispute with the city.
The outer skins of the domes were originally inflated like balloons, then reinforced on the inside with steel bars and sprayed concrete.
Despite being white when they were erected, the coke dust unexpectedly turned the domes almost black. The plastic material on the outside would develop a static charge, attracting the fine dust particles. The sun would heat the plastic and make it soft enough for the dust to stick to the surface, where it bonded like paint. After numerous efforts to remove the dust from the surface of the two structures proved fruitless, further cleaning efforts were abandoned. The slowly darkening domes became a symbol to air quality activists who railed against port pollution.
The project to remove the domes will also involve the removal of another storage shed on the property. Once cleared, the land is set to be developed as a liquid bulk facility.
The bids submitted in the first round ranged from a low of more than $925,000 to a high of $1.68 million.
Los Angeles no longer deals in pet coke, however, the neighboring Port of Long Beach continues to move pet coke through its Pier G facilities. Long Beach recently upgraded the entire facility with new metal 'A' frame sheds and ship loading equipment designed to minimize the creation of pet coke dust particles during handling.