Walters have been appointed by Hirwaun Power Limited (HPL), a subsidiary business of Drax Group, to demolish the former Hitachi Factory in Aberdare, South Wales.
HPL plan to construct a £200m gas-fired power station on the site which, once operational, could run up to a maximum of 1,500 hours in any given year and generate enough instant electricity to power 150,000 households. It will provide back up to other sources of electricity, including weather dependent wind turbines and solar farms and will help support Great Britain”s energy security.
The new station will be used during periods of peak electricity demand and when intermittent renewable technologies are unable to produce the power required to keep the country running ” when the wind isn”t blowing and the sun isn”t shining for example. It will not operate more than 1,500 hours a year and, as such, will help the country transition to a lower carbon economy.
New gas power projects are acknowledged by the Government as being essential to a lower carbon economy, as an alternative to coal, and the construction and operation of rapid-response Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) plants by Drax Group are part of a strategy to support an electricity system that has an increasing amount of less flexible, low carbon and renewable energy technologies.
Walters are responsible for demolishing 40,000m2 of redundant structures on the site as well as slab and foundation removal, crushing and ground preparation works. We recently removed the footbridge over the main Industrial Estate spine road which was successfully completed during a weekend closure of the road to minimise disruption to surrounding businesses.
Prior to demolition, a European Protected Species (EPS) Licence was obtained from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to allow Walters and Ecologists WSP to undertake measures to prevent bats utilising the building for roosting. Bats displaced by the demolition will roost in a new “Bat House” constructed on site prior to the main works commencing.
The follow on power station construction work is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete and will provide job opportunities for up to 150 skilled and semi-skilled workers.