Soil remediation for a unique industrial rehabilitation project in the French town of Neuville-sur-Saône

In France’s Rhône-Alpes region, SUEZ assisted Sanofi with the design and implementation of a large-scale soil and groundwater remediation project. The purpose of the project was a unique industrial rehabilitation project: the biopharmaceuticals company wanted to convert one of its legacy sites for new activities.
The mission

Giving a historic industrial site a second life

Sanofi has strong roots in Lyon, a centre of excellence in the life sciences. The biopharmaceuticals company is investing strategically in the area to prepare for the future and face tomorrow’s health challenges.

These activities include the Neuville-sur-Saône site, which has undergone a real transformation in just a few years: having used chemical processes to produce medicines for 150 years, the site became a biotechnology centre for vaccine production at the end of 2013.

To achieve this, the teams reinvented the site, beginning in 2012 with the dismantling and demolition of the previous industrial buildings and the remediation of soil and groundwater. SUEZ contributed its expertise to the conversion by rehabilitating a 3.5-hectare urban plot.

biggest Sanofi Pasteur site in Europe
doses of vaccines produced in the Lyon area, to which the Neuville teams contributed
Our solution

Made-to-measure remediation

SUEZ deployed a team of 20 people for this 30-month project.

Site remediation involves a rigorous process consisting of several key stages, including an assessment and analysis phase to define appropriate solutions for processing the pollutants (solvents, acetone, alcohol etc.) and design a specific plan for the work.

Once the existing structures (slabs, building foundations etc.) had been demolished and the materials sorted, soil was excavated to a depth of up to seven metres. Depending on the solutions used, soil was either treated in situ – with six 14,000 m2 containment tents used for the earthworks, storage and treatment – or off-site through approved facilities. All the work complied with all the health and environmental standards.

Three water treatment units were also set up to manage the effluent collected at the site before controlled discharge into the natural environment.

The results

Recovery and redevelopment

Caption: Neuville-sur-Saône production site - Sanofi France

Depending on the pollutants identified, soils were sorted, treated and sent for recovery or disposal. Over 80,000 tonnes were treated during the project and sent to our NEOTER® platforms for reuse as alternative materials for cement-making or for disposal via the thermal desorption process.

Finally, in preparation for Sanofi’s project, nearly 70,000 tonnes of backfill and about 15,000 tonnes of topsoil were used to redevelop the site following the excavation work.

of demolition and crushing of slabs and foundations
of material excavated, including 43,000 m³ of polluted soil transferred to approved treatment facilities
of backfill and topsoil to redevelop the site
of polluted water collected for treatment and controlled discharge into the natural environment