Spanish power plant decommissioning 50% complete

By Leila Steed05 September 2023

Energy company Enel has demolished two cooling towers and a chimney at the Compostilla Power Plant in Spain, marking the halfway point of decommissioning works at the site.

Explosions tearing through the two cooling towers at Compostilla power plant Demolition of the two cooling towers marks the halfway point of the decommissioning project. (PHOTO: Enel Green Power)

Opened in 1972 and closed in June 2020, the 1,000-MW Compostilla facility - which had undergone several expansions during its lifetime - comprised five thermal units that were once capable of generating of 1,000 MW of power a year. 

The recent demolition of the 110-metre-high cooling towers and the old chimney at the thermal power plant in El Bierzo, in the northwest of the country, was carried out via the use of explosives.

The blow-down of the structures was the latest phase of decommissioning works at the site, which began in June 2022 and are already 50% complete.  

According to Enel, the fast progress of the demolition “is thanks to the contribution of specialized personnel, 80% of whom are from the local area”. 

Enel said: “The goal is to complete the decommissioning of the Compostilla plant by December 2025. Within a few years, it is expected that thermoelectric power generation in the region will be permanently phased out, and the Compostilla area will be used for new projects.

“These include renewable energy production facilities and the organization of vocational training courses for local people, with the aim of creating new businesses and jobs.

Enel says its plans for the region include the development of a glass blast furnace in Cubillos del Sil and a wind blade recycling plant.

“Finally, together with the Urbaser company, we are working to shape the Novolitio enterprise, which will become the first center in the Iberian Peninsula for recycling lithium batteries for electric vehicles,” it added.

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