Keltbray demolishes Ferrybridge chimney stacks

Keltbray has demolished two 198 m high chimney stacks at Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station in the UK.

Located near Leeds in West Yorkshire, England, the former coal-fired electricity plant was closed in 2016 after 50 years of service.

Ferrybridge’s chimney stacks and the plant’s main boiler house and bunker bay structure were demolished yesterday (22 August, 2021) by Keltbray, on behalf of the plant’s owner SSE – a multinational energy company based in Scotland.

Bobby Ellis, senior project manager for Keltbray’s demolition and construction division, said: “This morning’s blowdown was a success. The demolition was months in planning and marks another major milestone in history, not only in Ferrybridge but in the UK in general.”

“As well as engaging with local residents, we put in place comprehensive ground monitoring to ensure the surrounding structures were unaffected by the blowdown, and we’re pleased to report that the activity went ahead safely and efficiently.”

According to owner SSE, the controlled explosive demolition saw nearby homes evacuated as a safety precaution and a 250 m (820 ft) exclusion zone put in place around the site.

The demolition was attended by SSE’s group energy and commercial director, Martin Pibworth, and Alok Sharma, the president designate for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), of which SSE is a principal partner.

Alok Sharma, who pressed the detonation button for the chimney stack blowdown, said, “Pressing the button on this demolition is a symbolic moment for me and demonstrates that change is possible. But to limit global temperature rises and keep 1.5C within reach, the whole world needs to plan to consign coal power to the past.”

Described as the last “major demolition activity” at the site, the take down of the chimneys follows the demolition of the power plant’s five 114 m (374 ft) tall cooling towers.

The first cooling tower was demolished by Keltbray in July of 2019 in a single blowdown, with the remaining four cooling towers demolished simultaneously three months later.

Speaking of the chimney stack takedown, Martin Pibworth, said: “This blowdown represents a major milestone in our decommissioning of Ferrybridge ‘C’ and is another special and poignant moment for the local community, with the power station playing a major role in so many people’s lives.”

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