CDI takes down 120-metre BL England smokestack

Controlled Demolition Inc (CDI) has brought down the iconic smokestack of the BL England Generating Station in New Jersey, USA, marking the final phase of the decommissioning project.

BL England Generating Plant's smokestack is brought down via explosives Crowds gather to watch the smokestack and BL England Generating Station come down in a controlled explosion. (PHOTO: Thomas P. Costello / USA TODAY NETWORK)


BL England, which is situated adjacent to the Great Egg Harbor river in the Beesley Point area of Cape May County, was a 450-MW coal-fired facility that was operational for almost 60 years, before being closed in 2019.

While Environmental Remediation Services of Syracuse, New York, was the main contractor on the project and handled the environmental remediation, CDI was contracted to take down the site’s 120-metre-tall (390-ft) smokestack, which had been previously altered to resemble a lighthouse.

The structure was brought down via explosives at 10am on the morning of October 26, 2023.

CDI’s blowdown of the structure drew a crowd of local residents and county officials, who watched the event from the shores of the Great Egg Harbor River.

“Great care, preparation, and notification has been taken leading to the event to assure local and state compliance as well as safety of the community,” said BPDG, in a recent statement.

Prior to the blowdown of the smokestack an, CDI spent months carrying out asbestos abatement and preparatory works to the entirety of power plant property

Constructed some 40 years ago and was, the smokestack was the “final and most notable structure” of the former power plant to be taken down, as part of real estate developer Beesleys Point Development Group’s (BPDG) plan to redevelop the 350-acre (1.4-sq km) site in Cape May County into an “ecological gem” for nature and wildlife.

It will include walking and biking trails, nature observatories, an expanded fishing pier, sports facilities and an amphitheater for events.

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