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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Collaboration key to safe demolition of Rugeley Power Station

Demolition of Rugeley Power Station

Project between EPC-UK and Brown & Mason sees explosives demolition of four redundant cooling towers 

A RECENT, controlled demolition of four redundant cooling towers at the former Rugeley Power Station, in Staffordshire, was successfully executed using demolition explosives supplied by industry specialists EPC-UK, and the project skillsets of demolition experts Brown & Mason. 

The demolition project – which took three years of meticulous and extensive safety planning – adhered to the strictest safety regulations possible, including BS 5607, the code of practice for safe use of explosives in the construction industry and BS 6187, the code of practice for demolition.

Rugeley Power Station ceased its production of electricity to the National Grid in 2016, creating the opportunity to present an exciting new future for the site through a mixed-use development. The original towers were each 117m high, and when in operation could cool six million gallons of water in an hour.

To safely clear the site ready for redevelopment, demolition was planned for 6 June 2021, with the fire shot scheduled for 11.15am to respectfully accommodate a nearby D-day commemoration event at the National Memorial Arboretum.

It was also important for EPC-UK and Brown & Mason to succeed in minimizing potential disruption with the generation of an effective exclusion zone enforced before, during and immediately after the collapse.

The cooling tower project took many months of planning to detail the precautions necessary to enable a safe and seamless event on the day. This involved close liaison between all team members and stakeholders including police, fire, The National Grid and local businesses such as a nearby Amazon distribution warehouse.

The event also required the implementation of highway closures, diversions in close consultation with the local council highways team and crowd control at locations where it was anticipated that members of the public may gather to view the demolition.

Monitoring processes undertaken included dust and vibration activities, designed to prevent the sensitive National Grid distribution assets positioned nearby from being affected.

Protection was also added to the shell of the towers to minimize debris spread and a rehearsal was performed prior to the actual event to establish radio performance and make slight adjustments so sentries could maintain the required line of sight.

Renowned for their commercial explosives and blasting expertise, EPC-UK have supported many blast engineering firms in the UK to secure the safe, controlled demolition of redundant buildings and power stations.  

The explosives and detonation technologies supplied by the EPC-UK team to demolish Rugeley Power Station’s towers succeeded in delivering a safe and targeted usage of explosive energy with advanced initiation to enable the controlled demolition.

‘We’ve developed a superb relationship with Brown & Mason, presenting ourselves as a dependable and conscientious supplier with the experience to deliver effective solutions, time and again,’ commented Ryan Ward, EPC-UK’s commercial manager.

‘The engineers at Brown & Mason can routinely rely on our explosives and equipment and trust that they will always perform accurately, through a service that routinely realizes the required results, from ordering and delivery, all the way through to the final controlled event.’

Mick Williams of Brown & Mason added: ‘The very nature of demolition means our engineers have one shot to get it right. With such a pressing need for precision, we never undervalue the capacity for high-quality products that are expertly sourced and tested to ensure that we can do our job right, first time.’

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