Status Update on Modernization at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant

The Kingsport Times published a byline written by Claire Powell, Communications Manager BAE Systems OSI, on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
There are more than 450 buildings and storage magazines onsite at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant
There are more than 450 buildings and storage magazines onsite at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant.
 
The Army and BAE Systems, the operating contractor on site, continues to modernize in support of readiness, a resilient defense industrial base, and future combat requirements. The Holston Army Ammunition Plant (HSAAP) is a big part of this effort and includes modernizing current operations, reducing environmental impact, and delivering the highest degree of reliability for our warfighters.
 
Here are four key areas of progress across the site:
 
The establishment of a comprehensive Open Burning Waste Diversion program to divert materials from open burning to solid waste landfill disposal has greatly reduced the amount of burned waste and related emissions. In 2020, over 415 personnel were successfully trained in the program and over 3,566 cubic yards of production waste was diverted during the calendar year.
 
The A2B area of the HSAAP – a state-of-the-art chemical processing facility – has undergone upgrades to increase the plant’s acetic-acid refining capability. The commissioning activities to date have proven the process’ capabilities. The endurance trials phase will take place over the next several months. In addition, there are plans in the works for an additional project that would further increase the facilities ability to meet energetics demands for the DoD
 
Progress has been made on a new natural gas-fired steam facility (NGFS) that will replace the existing coal-fired steam plant. Four large natural gas boilers were delivered to the facility between February and April 2020. This modernization effort, one of many the Army and BAE Systems are undertaking, is key to reducing emissions associated with coal-fired steam plants and significantly increases energy efficiency. It is anticipated that construction of this facility will be completed over the next several months with commissioning activities following. The transition from the coal-fired steam plant to the new natural gas-fired steam plant is expected by the end of the year.
 
The Weak Acetic Acid Recovery Process (WAARP) is a modernization project to design and build new facilities to house a process that allows the HSAAP facility to recover spent acetic acid and recycle it back into the production processes. This process will result in less waste and more efficient manufacturing capability. The contract award is for a new building, storage tank farm, and supporting infrastructure and utilities. The expected completion date is summer of 2023.

The modernization of conventional ammunition production facilities is an important program that is attracting much attention due to its long-term benefits for our workforce and our local communities. Numerous Army senior leaders have visited to learn more about HSAAP’s important mission, and how we are modernizing to improve safety, environmental compliance and Army readiness.
 
These modernization projects are successfully driving us forward by improving workforce safety and energy efficiencies while enhancing support to the warfighter. While it’s critical that we modernize our facilities, BAE Systems is also focused on modernizing the tools our frontline leaders have to facilitate safety focused work and management throughout the facility.  BAE Systems is committed to continuously improving HSAAP to reach world-class safety and environmental performance.
 
The explosives expansion program continues to move forward in strategic support of the warfighter. This represents unprecedented funding levels for the duration of BAE Systems current contract and beyond, and includes everything from updating infrastructure to technology insertion for safety and environmental enhancements. The construction of two of the key explosives process buildings is on pace to be complete by end of this year, with commissioning expected early 2022.