The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) formally accepted the new Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”) after issuing the Taking-Over Certificate to Dura Vermeer, the main contractor responsible for major construction work, safety testing and commissioning of the building. The acceptance took place after the building was approved by the OPCW Technical Secretariat in consultation with external experts, including architects, mechanical engineers, laboratory and quality control consultants. Ector Hoogstad Architecten was the architect for the project.
“The ChemTech Centre will strengthen the OPCW’s capabilities to keep pace with scientific and technological developments to ensure the successful implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” said the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias. “The ChemTech Centre will be an essential tool to embody the OPCW’s vision of a world free of chemical weapons.”
The Director-General expressed his gratitude to OPCW Member States and other donors, who supported the project to build the ChemTech Centre. Following the acceptance of the building, the relocation from the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store in Rijswijk will take place in several stages. The official inauguration ceremony for the opening of the ChemTech Centre will take place on 12 May 2023.
The ChemTech Centre is an important upgrade to the OPCW’s research, analytical and capacity building activities. It will serve as a knowledge repository to address chemical threats worldwide, and as a platform for the broader OPCW community to promote expert dialogue, exchange, and collaboration in advancing the peaceful and safe uses of chemistry.
The new facility will also help strengthen Member States’ capabilities related to verification tools, detection and response in the case of a chemical emergency.
The ChemTech Centre is located within the Heron Business Park in Pijnacker-Nootdorp, outside The Hague, close to the OPCW Headquarters.
The OPCW’s current laboratory in Rijswijk will move into the ChemTech Centre.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.