British contractor MGL demolishes Redcar coke ovens screen house in Teesworks redevelopment

By Leila Steed20 April 2023

MGL Group has taken down its final structure at the former Redcar Steelworks site, as part of the Teesworks redevelopment in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

The company used 10 explosive charges to bring down the Coke Ovens Screen House, which measured 39 m (127 ft) tall.

The Redcar site - in the north east of England and fomerly the headquarters of British Steel - was closed in 2015 and its subsequent decommissioning has involved several of the United Kingdom’s leading demolition firms.

Last year, Thompsons of Prudhoe took down both the 111 m (365 ft) tall blast furnace and the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant

Industrial services specialist Well Services Group has also been involved in the decommissioning of the Redcar site.

In December 2022 it completed a Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) project at the Southbank Coke Ovens, which saw it remove toxic material that could ignite spontaneously on exposure to air from the coke ovens’ distribution lines.

Redcar steelworks furnace demolished VIDEO: Watch Thompsons of Prudhoe bring down 365 ft tall structure via a controlled explosion

The steelworks site is situated on one of the 11 sub-zones that make up the Teesworks industrial zone.

Said to be the largest and most well-connected industrial freeport in the country, MGL’s demolition project was one of many currently being carried out as part of the major redevelopment of the Teesworks zone.

The Teesworks industrial zone comprises covers 1,821 ha (4,500 acres) of brownfield land near the River Tees, in the Tees Valley between County Durham and North Yorkshire.

Historically, it has been home to some of the biggest industrial and infrastructure companies in the country. 

Transformation of the site falls under the direction of the South Tees Development Corporation. The organisation is aiming to transform the site into “Britain’s carbon capture capital” and renewables hub, which will bring together leading national and multinational companies from multiple sectors.

Since 2015, over £200 million (US$248 million)  has been invested in the demolition and preparatory works necessary to develop 809 ha (2,000 acres) of the site, which is also said to be largest brownfield site in Europe.

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