HERMISTON -- The Project Management Institute has named the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility the 2012 Project of the Year in a global competition for safely destroying chemical weapons ahead of schedule.
The award was presented to the Umatilla Chemical Depot's weapons incineration project at an awards ceremony this weekend at the Project Management Institute Global Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia. Projects from around the world were invited to participate, regardless of size or industry.
The award recognized the project and project team for "superior performance and exemplary execution of project management."
The institute was impressed with the incineration facility's ability to complete the operations phase of the project 935 days ahead of its life cycle schedule and $385 million under budget, according to URS Corp., which operated the plant. It also liked the project's safety record, which has surpassed six years and 10.7 million hours without a lost workday injury.
"High stakes, high complexity and enormous risk made this project a unique challenge where success was non-negotiable," said Mark Langley, president of the institute. "By leveraging strong project management practices, innovative ways to identify and mitigate risks and top-notch team-building expertise, URS Corp. conquered that challenge and safely completed a critical initiative that had worldwide implications."
In 2011, the project completed its mission to destroy 220,604 chemical munitions containing 3,720 tons of deadly chemical agent.
The plant was one of three finalists for the honor after being named the Project of the Year for the Pacific Northwest Region in February.
The institute has more than 650,000 members in more than 185 countries.