edp news

EDP successfully completes the operation to knock down the chimneys of Setúbal Power Station

Sunday 29, March 2020

The operation took place this Sunday and is part of the thermoelectric plant's dismantling phase, which ceased activity in 2013. With this demolition, EDP is creating conditions for a new sustainable project.

The operation to bring down the two 200-meter-high chimneys of the Setúbal thermoelectric plant was successfully concluded by the end of this Sunday morning, and so another stage of the process of dismantling this EDP plant, that was deactivated in 2013, was completed.

For this operation, about 150-200kg of explosives were placed per chimney, in the 400 holes that were drilled in the base of each chimney, and another 60kg in pools placed around the fall site, in order to create a curtain of water to contain and minimize the spread of the dust. Within a few seconds, the chimneys fell in a controlled manner within the perimeter of the plant, in a previously defined area.

The contract works for the dismantling and demolition work in progress were awarded to a consortium of the Ambigroup and Ambiservice companies. For the process of knocking down the chimneys specifically, the consortium chose Maxam, a company that specializes in the use of explosives for this type of activity. The toppling plan was prepared in conjunction with the authorities, companies, and official entities of the region.

Creating conditions for a sustainable project

This demolition marks a symbolic moment for EDP, by reinforcing the capacity to anticipate trends in the group that, since 2007, has been making an increasing bet on renewable energies through decarbonization and electrification of consumption. In addition, it highlights the company's commitment to the energy transition and an increasingly sustainable future.

“With this demolition, we are creating the conditions on the ground to create a space where a sustainable project can be built in the future, a project that is part of the energy transition. We don't have a defined project yet, but we would really like it to be, for example, a solar farm”, explains Rui Teixeira, president of EDP Produção.

The thermoelectric plant located on the Mitrena peninsula, in Setúbal, has been in operation for more than 30 years – it started operating in 1978, with its first group, and closed in 2013. It was instrumental in supplying the country by becoming the largest national energy-producing center until the opening of the Sines plant; at some point, it even supplied energy to 25% of the population.

The plant deactivation process started in 2013 with the decommissioning phase of the facility. From 2016 onwards, the dismantling and demolition phase began.

The removal of the chimneys is part of this dismantling phase, the completion of which is scheduled for early 2021. After this phase, the environmental upgrade activities will be carried out on the plant's land.

Currently, the execution progress of the dismantling phase is at around 60%. This stage is highlighted by the fact that it promotes the circular economy by reusing and recycling more than 90% of the materials from dismantling and demolition.

Main details of the tipping operation

  • Around 70 people were involved, and among them were people from EDP Produção, the companies responsible for the operation, official authorities and entities;
  • Around 150-200kg of explosives were used per chimney, and 60kg in the pools placed around the fall site;
  • 400 holes were drilled in the base of each chimney;
  • The fall generated about 10 thousand tons of rubble;
  • Part of this waste will be used for leveling the land and filling holes resulting from the demolition activities of the buildings and structures of the plant;
  • More than 90% of the materials from the demolition will be reused and recycled, thus promoting the circular economy.

About the plant

  • It was once the largest national energy producing center: 1GW of installed power with four generator groups. In nominal operation, it consumed about 5,280 tons of fuel oil per day;
  • At the peak of its activity, around 250 EDP employees were working at the plant;
  • The plant is in the process of being deactivated. The removal of the chimneys is part of the dismantling phase, which is expected to be completed by early 2021;
  • The execution progress of the dismantling phase is at about 60%