Lezama Demoliciones blasts Narcea Power Plant boiler unit

Demolition company Lezama Demoliciones has completed the controlled blasting of a boiler unit and its concrete silos at the Narcea Thermal Power Plant in Asturias, Spain.

The boiler unit and its concrete silos at Narcea Thermal Power Plant in Spain moments before the demolition (PHOTO: Lezama/Naturgy)

Currently owned by energy company Naturgy - the first in Spain to request government permission to shut down all of its coal-fired facilities, the Narcea Thermal Power Plant was commissioned in the 1960s.

Its three coal-fired power generation units, GI, GII and GIII, became operational in 1965, 1969 and 1984 respectively, and remained in operation for 55 years before being retired in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to D&Ri, Lezama revealed that it had recently taken down the 46-metre-high boiler at GII, which had a maximum capacity of 166 MW and was the second largest of the three units.

While many details relating to how the explosive event was carried out are confidential, Lezama did revealed that it required the use of copper linear charges for the metal pillars of the boiler unit, as well as dynamite cartridges for the structure’s foundations.

Due to the close proximity of a river and the shape of the boiler unit itself, the demolition contractor had to take an unusual approach to the felling of the structure.

“The blasting had to be designed to fall the structure in the opposite direction,” the company said. “Due to the shape of the boiler, it would have been easier to blast the boiler unit in the direction of the GII chimney, but the team decided to change 90º in order to avoid the river.”

The company also created ditches to accommodate the fall of the structure, and to help suppress any vibrations caused by the fall. 

This recent blasting was the latest of six explosive events at the site, all of which took place in the past three months alone. 

Describing the project as unique, Lezama said it carried out the explosive demolitions in such a short time timeframe in order to respect the breeding season of native bird species in the area. 

Lezama, which coordinated almost 100 workers (including subcontractors) on site during the peak of the demolition works, will now spend the next several months undertaking further dismantling works by mechanical means.

Decommissioning works at Narcea Power Plant are currently expected to be completed in the early part of 2025.

Lezama secures first government BIM project Digital tech to help contractor assess environmental impact of 20-metre-high building demolition 

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