With a petroleum fuels depot only 200 metres away and the site visible from the A13, the early Sunday morning demolition by specialist contractor DDM UK was coordinated to minimise disruption and maximise safety standards. Road closures were enforced and the collapse mechanism was designed to avoid any structural damage to the main turbine halls – which remain intact.
Five 2,500-tonne boilers (heat recovery steam generators – HRSGs) have also been brought down using traditional demolition techniques. This work was carried out in the late evening, over a six week period, when peak rush hour traffic had passed.
The sequential demolition has been in the planning by RVA since 2014. Engaged by Barking Power Ltd – part of Canadian firm Atco – RVA was initially appointed to undertake various front-end engineering services, including costings studies and help de-rate the site. The actual demolition work began in 2018.
RVA managing director Richard Vann said: “With Barking, there was the added complexity of protecting the turbine hall and its contents, as the site looks set to embark on a new and very different life, having been acquired by the City of London Corporation.”
The power station closed in 2014 and was purchased last year by the City of London Corporation, which is planning to consolidate its three wholesale food markets – Billingsgate (fish), Smithfield (meat and poultry) and New Spitalfields (fruit, vegetables and flowers) – onto the 42-acre site.