Inverkip Power Station.
This station sits just along the road from the village I live in on the River Clyde. The Clyde allowed ships to deliver oil and also provided cooling water to avoid the use of cooling towers. This was taken in May as they started demolition work and from what I’ve seen in passing most of the buildings have been cleared. The framework of the larger cube like structure and the chimney are the only substantial parts still standing. There has been talk of how the chimney will come down but I haven’t heard any firm timescale.
Construction of Inverkip started in 1970 and was Scotland’s first oil fired power station but as the plant was completed the world found itself in the midst of the 1973 oil crisis. Oil prices soared to the extent it was no longer viable to use Inverkip as a base load generating station and it’s role changed to that of a standby to support peak demands. Capacity was 1,900MW but only 800MW was made available with the rest being mothballed. Full capacity was only used in 1984/85 during the miner’s strike as coal became scarce.
The chimney is 778 feet tall and is the tallest free standing structure in Scotland and third tallest chimney in the UK. It has 4 main flues and a fifth smaller one, although the planned fourth generating unit was never constructed so the fourth flue is capped. It is made up of 1.4 million bricks and 20,000 tonnes of concrete.
The council’s plan is to build 780 or so houses on the site but with no real talk of new schools or infrastructure to support them, not to mention the already heavy rush hour traffic on the A78 which links the site with Greenock and Glasgow beyond.