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Two new cremators could be built at Le Foulon

Two new cremators could be built at Le Foulon

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Two new cremators could be built at Le Foulon

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Guernsey could have two new cremators, both built at Le Foulon, to replace the island's existing 16-year old facility.

A number of alternative locations have been considered as part of plans to replace the island's out-dated cremator but it's been decided the best location for two new machines is where the facility is already placed with an extension to the chapel required.

If the States agree to spend almost £4m doing that then construction work could begin, alongside the existing chapel at Le Foulon, later this year.

States' Property Services said a detailed study of options for replacing the island’s "existing, outdated cremation equipment" has been carried out which included consideration of alternative locations where a new facility could be housed. Key stakeholders, including local funeral directors, were consulted as part of the evaluation process with the decision being made that Le Foulon is the best location and that having two new cremator units located there will provide "much-needed additional resilience."


Pictured: The location of Le Foulon Cemetery home to Guernsey's cremator 

Mark Ogier, Property Services Head of Estates Strategy, said: “The requirement to regularly manage extremes of temperature from cold to up to 1,000 degrees makes breakdowns associated with thermal stresses inevitable. This can result in extended periods of critical service interruption, hence the strong recommendation to fit two units in the new facility.” 

He added that as Guernsey currently only has one crematorium the island the issue needs addressing now so a new one can be built before the existing facility must be removed from service: "It is not desirable emotionally or viable economically to re-route cremations to another nearby facility due to logistical, geographical and legal reasons. That is common practice on the UK mainland where there are alternatives to call on in the event of failure. The cost of transport, associated administration at either end, and the emotional considerations make this an option of last resort.”

As the manufacturer of the existing J G Shelton Diamond 2000EF Cremator fitted at Le Foulon crematorium is no longer in production, as the original manufacturer went into liquidation in the spring of 2014, spare parts are also becoming harder to source meaning the replacement is considered vital at this time.


Pictured: File image of a cremator similar to one in Guernsey

The proposals are likely to be considered at the May States meeting when the States Trading Supervisory Board will ask for approval to spend up to £3.88 million to create the new facility to the west of the chapel. The costs include professional design fees for the new building plus all the required equipment. A specialist project manager and architects have been appointed to provide technical advice.

Unlike the existing equipment, which is at the end of its useful life and no longer economic to maintain, STSB said the replacement cremators will be fitted with emission controls to ensure that the equipment meets new local standards. Each unit will also have a larger capacity than the current cremator meaning that the current chapel won't have sufficient space to install a new, modern cremator so it must be extended. 

Very early in this project it became obvious that the proposed equipment replacement was not as simple as removing the existing cremator and installing new equipment in the same position. There is insufficient space in the current chapel, even to fit a single modern unit, hence the requirement for a new building" Mr Ogier said, adding: “The best value option proposed for the replacement cremator is an extension at Le Foulon.”


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