After close consultation between ScottishPower, East Lothian Council and Police Scotland, the date for the controlled explosive demolition of the Cockenzie Power Station chimney stacks has been confirmed as Saturday 26th September.
The demolition will be overseen by ScottishPower’s main contractor, Brown and Mason, who have undertaken similar projects in recent years at Inverkip Power Station and Methil Power Station.
An exclusion zone will be required for the demolition, with full details due to be published in the near future. The safety restrictions will mean that viewing areas in the immediate vicinity of the power station, such as the Greenhills, will be limited. As the chimney stacks are clearly visible from many locations, Police Scotland, ScottishPower and East Lothian Council have recommended that people who would like to watch the demolition take the time to plan their position in advance. Further guidance will be issued nearer to the time.
The twin chimney stacks are both 149 metres tall, and were constructed in time for the coal station opening in 1967. Cockenzie Power Station generated more than 150 Terawatt Hours (TWh) of electricity in its lifetime, enough to power the average annual electricity needs of more than 1 million homes every year during its 45 years of operation.
George Camps, ScottishPower Project Manager, said: “A lot of detailed planning is required to carry out a major demolition on this scale. This involves close co-operation with both East Lothian Council and Police Scotland, in order to ensure that we can carry out the work safely. We will also keep the local community groups and businesses fully informed as we are able to release further details of the event.“
Inspector Andrew Harborow said: “We know that these chimneys have been an iconic site for residents and visitors to Cockenzie over the years and there will be no shortage of interest in watching the demolition.
“I would like to take this opportunity to advise those planning on coming along on the day that spaces in the local area will be limited and we will have a policing presence in place to ensure disruption to the community is kept to a minimum.
“Please consider your journey, where you intend to park and how you expect to view the demolition in advance.”
East Lothian Council Leader, Willie Innes, said: “The demolition of the Cockenzie chimneys carries mixed emotions for many local residents who have lived and worked in their shadows and consider the structures as a landmark within their community. However, the demolition will also signify a new start for the area and the council is encouraged by interest shown in new economic opportunities for the site.”
The ‘button press’ on the day of the event, which will initiate the demolition of both chimneys, will be carried out by the winner of a charity raffle that is being organised by Longniddry & District Rotary Club. In recent months ScottishPower has been working closely with local community groups as part of a new steering group to look at ways of maximising charity fundraising to coincide with the demolition.
The tickets, costing £2 each, are currently on sale at a number of local outlets until the 28th of August. The winning tickets will be drawn by the 2015 Gala Queens from Prestonpans and Cockenzie & Port Seton on the 29th of August.
Sale proceeds will be distributed evenly between the Prestonpans community, Cockenzie & Port Seton community, Longniddry & District Rotary Club, and ScottishPower’s partner charity, Cancer Research UK.