Report - - Octel Bromine Works, Amlwck, Angelsey, North Wales, July 2020 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Octel Bromine Works, Amlwck, Angelsey, North Wales, July 2020


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1. The History
The roots of Octel date back to the second world war as a producer of anti-knock compounds for aircraft fuel. Engine “knocking” was a common problem, when the mixture of air and fuel didn’t burn efficiently. Set up in Northwich in 1940, it was initially owned by the government and operated by ICI. It then became the Associated Ethyl Co before later being renamed Asociated Octel.

After their purchase of a new site in 1948, Octel looked for a site to produce bromine to supply the works with. Amlwck was considered a suitable site so in 1952 a plant was set up there to extract bromine from seawater. The site was chosen because of the depth of the sea in the area, the strong tidal flow and Gulf Stream sea temperatures and was the largest bromine plant of its kind in the world

For more than 50 years the plat produced bromine and at its peak the plant employed 120 workers. In 1994, one of the biggest fires ever seen on Anglesey started at the Octel plant. Around 5 people were injured, and a 15-mile exclusion zone was declared around the island’s north coast after rubber sheeting in one of the plant’s towers caught fire.

The development of unleaded petrol when the health effects of lead in vehicle exhaust gases became better understood reduced the demand for Octel’s anti-knock additive. Hence the Octel factory diversified into other bromine products and was taken over by Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. In 2003, the corporation decided to close the works with the loss of more than 100 jobs. Two years later in 2005 the plant was shut completely. The site then went through a 9-month process of decontamination.

Old site plan:

For an excellent report from August 2015, prior to a number of buildings being demo'ed, check out @Speed 's report HERE

2. The Explore
Had this place on my list for a while. Ended up on our holidays literally 5 minutes down the road so it was a no-brainer to pop over to see what was left. I knew that a large part of the site had been demo’ed but was surprised at the extent of what remained. The place is a complete walk in. Even in its pretty trashed state there was still a lot to see and hold your attention for a couple of hours.

3. The Pictures

Started by going to the far side of the site and looking at the seawater pump house:

Only one of the blowing out towers (BOT1) remains after BOT2 burnt down:

On to what’s left of the process labs:


The main sub-station has got a lot of stuff in it still:

Sub-station No.2:

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28DL Regular User
Regular User

These offices where porta cabins on two levels. They were absolutely smashed to f*ck which is a shame as there looked like there was a lot of interesting stuff in them at one time:

A few from the workshops, offices, and stores building:

Reception office block:

The Central Works and safety centre:

The shower block and locker rooms were probably my favourite:

And finally, the water tower:

And an old white-line painter for the work’s football pitches:


Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Very comprehensive, lots to see, industry mixed with nature, looks like a great explore. Was there a decontamination area?


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Must get in there myself some time - I've only lived just down the road for the last 20 years...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Some of the PPE would be useful today. And yes, I was going to point out its Amlwch.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Went to it last October but most of my pics got corrupted so I never reported. Its certainly not what it used to be but it's still a quality explore (although if you are in the area Porth wen is alot nicer!)
Great report as always hughie.

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