ScottishPower, East Lothian Council and Police Scotland have confirmed further details regarding the demolition of the twin chimney stacks at the former Cockenzie Power Station site.
The controlled explosive demolition is planned to take place at 12 noon on Saturday 26th September. Immediately following the chimney demolition, a second controlled explosion will be initiated to bring down the turbine hall structure. The demolition will be undertaken by Brown and Mason, who have successfully managed similar projects for ScottishPower in recent years at Inverkip Power Station and Methil Power Station.
An exclusion zone will be in place from 9am to ensure that the demolition can be carried out safely. The safety restrictions will cover the Greenhills, sections of Edinburgh Road and the John Muir Way, as well as extending in to the Firth of Forth. Traffic restrictions will also be in place in the vicinity of the power station from 7am. Edinburgh Road will be closed from Appin Drive to East Lorimer Place. A section of Whin Park housing estate and the West Harbour area will also be closed. Diversionary routes will be signposted. All restrictions will be lifted shortly after the demolition has taken place.
It is anticipated that viewing locations in the immediate vicinity of the power station will be very limited. Police Scotland, ScottishPower and East Lothian Council have all recommended that people who would like to watch the demolition take the time to plan their position in advance.
George Camps, ScottishPower Project Manager, said: “The demolition of the chimney stacks and the turbine hall requires careful planning. Even though the structures will be brought to the ground in a matter of seconds, months of preparations are needed to make sure that everything goes according to plan. We have also been working closely with Police Scotland and East Lothian Council to put sensible safety precautions in place. The chimney stacks are visible for many miles and we would encourage anyone wishing to view the demolition to plan their location in advance and to be aware of the temporary safety restrictions that are in place.”
Inspector Andy Harborow said: “The iconic Cockenzie chimneys have been standing tall within the local community for almost fifty years and we anticipate many members of the public will turn out for their demolition.
“To preserve the safety of those in attendance, we have been working alongside our partners at East Lothian Council and Scottish Power to identify and create a suitable exclusion zone for the demolition.
“No vantage points or parking spaces have been allocated to view this event and so anyone visiting the area is asked to be considerate to the local community and try to minimise any disruption.”
East Lothian Council Leader, Willie Innes, said: “The demolition of the chimneys will be a visible and final signal of the end of Cockenzie Power Station which has been a presence in the life of many local residents. I know for some people the demolition will bring mixed feelings but the local communities are already focussed on helping to plan the future of the site and are excited about the new opportunities that may be offered here.”
The twin chimney stacks are both 149 metres tall, and were constructed in time for the coal station opening in 1967. The turbine hall structure is predominantly made of steel, and measures 220 metres in length, 41 metres in width and 31 metres in height. 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.
The ‘button press’ on the day of the event, which will initiate the demolition of both chimneys, will be carried out by East Lothian resident Donald McCulloch, the winner of a charity raffle that was organised by Longniddry & District Rotary Club. The sales of the tickets have raised over £7,800, with proceeds being distributed evenly between the Prestonpans community, Cockenzie & Port Seton community, Longniddry & District Rotary Club, and ScottishPower’s partner charity, Cancer Research UK.