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BACTEC Wins UN's Only Lebanon Ordnance Clearance Contract

BACTEC Wins UN's Only Lebanon Ordnance Clearance Contract Image
UK-based Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialist BACTEC International has been awarded the UN's only contract for ordnance clearance in Lebanon in 2008.

The company beat a number of international rivals to secure the contract from the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) in competitive tender. BACTEC has had an almost continuous presence in Lebanon since 2001, providing EOD, mine clearance and Battle Area Clearance (BAC) teams to clear bombs, missiles, submunitions and cluster bomb strikes as well as booby traps and land mines.

Under this latest contract BACTEC will be deploying 201 operatives across 11 teams in South Lebanon to clear largely rural areas of ordnance. The country relies heavily on agriculture, both for subsistence farming and export. The vast majority of the personnel will be Lebanese, previously trained in ordnance disposal by BACTEC. This enables rapid mobilisation for the start in January, and also provides invaluable local knowledge and employment to local people.

Guy Lucas, Managing Director of BACTEC International, commented: "We are delighted to continue our humanitarian post-conflict work in Lebanon which has already achieved so much. Lebanon is a second home for BACTEC, and we have a deep commitment and affection for the country. The contract also endorses the professionalism of our expatriate supervisors and the local Lebanese who work so capably to remove the legacy of war from their country."

The terrain of South Lebanon provides a major challenge for ordnance location and disposal. Some munitions have rolled to the floors of steep-side wadis, where rain has washed soil down from the surrounding slopes to cover them. In the rainy season vegetation grows quickly and prevents the visual searching of areas. Anti-personnel mines may be located amid the rocky slopes of the jebels. Remnants of cluster bombs can be found in the acres of orange plantations and olive groves trees, both hidden within the vegetation or hanging from the branches.

Since August 2006 BACTEC has located and destroyed over 16,000 items of ordnance. The majority of items were sub-munitions/cluster munitions and included a number of artillery projectiles and iron bombs.

Notes for Editors

1. Outside of the UN contracts, BACTEC has been carrying out EOD and mine clearance operations in Lebanon as the main contractor for the UAE Operation Emirates Solidarity (OES) Phase 1 and 2 programmes, following the withdrawal of Israeli forces. The initial phases of the OES programme resulted in the clearance of over 35,000 antipersonnel mines, 1,533 anti-tank mines, and 3,261 items of unexploded ordnance. A further 19,000 landmines were located and destroyed by BACTEC in the third Phase completed in May 2004.

The current phase (OES Phase 2) involves operations between the Litani and Awuali Rivers and covers an area of 584,000 square kilometres, including the towns of Nabatiyah and Jezzine. BACTEC's task is the clearance of 118 minefields and 156 booby traps. To date, over 100 minefields, 77 booby traps and 57 BAC tasks have been completed and handed over.

2. Based in Rochester, Kent, BACTEC is the UK's foremost Explosive Ordnance Disposal and mine action company.

BACTEC was established in 1991 to provide risk mitigation services for unexploded ordnance and landmine clearance, supporting construction projects and worldwide explosive ordnance clearance initiatives. The company works globally across a network of international offices and has completed projects in over 40 different countries.

Clients include governments, non-government organizations, multi-national companies and local authorities, as well as building contractors, engineers and property developers. Risk mitigation involves the investigation and identification of potential ordnance contamination and unexploded ordnance, followed by its safe remediation, using the latest technology to minimise risk.

Post-conflict landmine clearance encompasses the detection and disposal of antipersonnel and anti-tank mines, enabling land to be brought back into economic use. The company has been involved with the clearance of more than 500,000 landmines, restoring in excess of 8 million square metres of land.

BACTEC is recognised for its highly trained professional personnel whose technical capabilities are underpinned with ISO 9001:2008 (LRQA) accreditation.
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