“e-déf, Eole-La Défense” project concrete mixing plant: results of VINCI’s investigation
27 May 2019 - 5:45 pm - Projects update and handover - France
• An unintentional, abnormal and exceptional operating incident
• No concrete spilt – limited quantity of grey water contaminated with sand and traces of deactivated cement
• A firm restoration commitment in conjunction with all local stakeholders
On 24 April 2019, Europe 1 broadcast a report in which VINCI was accused of having dumped concrete into the Seine from a VINCI Construction-Spie Batignolles plant supplying the sites of the “e-déf, Eole-La Défense” project.
The emotion aroused by this report resulted in some very strong reactions. Following an in-depth internal investigation, VINCI can today provide some factual responses to the various questions raised.
On 19 March, the management of the site was alerted to a spillage of materials into the Seine. It immediately took the steps necessary to stop this spillage and informed the State agencies concerned.
VINCI Construction has conducted analyses: no concrete was spilt
The preliminary findings on site showed that the spillage was not of concrete but of grey water contaminated with sand and traces of deactivated cement (namely cement that has lost its adhesive capacity). About ten square metres of grassy embankment were coloured by a fine grey layer and a deposit of sand with traces of non-cohesive cement formed at the bottom of the quayside on the bed of the river, covering an area of about 20 square metres and with a variable thickness of between 5 and 20 cm. The quantity of material spilt into the Seine is thus estimated at less than 5 cubic metres rather than the thousands of cubic metres announced in the media.
Samples of water and materials have been taken at the location of the spillage as well as several metres upstream and downstream. Their analysis shows that the materials sampled are inert and that the samples of water do not contain any abnormal pollution associated with the incident.
Restoration of the bank in conjunction with all stakeholders
VINCI deeply regrets this incident, which resulted from the combined effect of malfunctions leading to the under-capacity of the concrete washing installations. The concrete production plant was placed near the Seine, 5 km from the worksite, to ensure that 80% of the materials could be brought in by river and thus minimise road traffic and CO2 emissions due to transport by lorry. All concrete unable reach the worksite within two hours is systematically returned to the concrete plant for deactivation.
In a letter dated 10 May 2019 addressed to Ms Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France Region, VINCI undertook to restore the section of the bank of the Seine concerned immediately after receiving authorisation to do so. This restoration work will be carried out in conjunction with State agencies, the Port Authority and all stakeholders. The Group will cooperate fully with the administrative and judicial authorities in the investigation that has been opened.
VINCI reiterates that it endeavours on a daily basis to set an example in the area of environmental protection. This strong commitment thus forms the 3rd pillar of its Manifesto, which is the foundation of its actions in terms of sustainable development. VINCI companies strive on a daily basis to limit the environmental impact of their activities. They also develop offers that contribute to reducing the quantities of materials used during works and the energy consumption of structures and that help preserve biodiversity. Finally, they carry out many environmental certification and internal labelling measures on their sites.
VINCI is a global player in concessions and contracting, employing close to 211,000 people in some 100 countries. We design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and facilities that help improve daily life and mobility for all. Because we believe in all-round performance, above and beyond economic and financial results, we are committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. And because our projects are in the public interest, we consider that reaching out to all our stakeholders and engaging in dialogue with them is essential in the conduct of our business activities. VINCI’s goal is to create long-term value for its customers, shareholders, employees, and partners and for society at large.