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Fire breaks out at Longannet power plant following demolition of coal bunker

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Yesterday, the large coal storage bunker at Longannet’s power plant in Fife (Scotland) was demolished in a series of controlled explosions. A fire broke out which was attended to by Scottish Fire and Rescue after the demolition went awry. Six fire engines and crew tackled the blaze.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman reported that it attended following reports of a fire at the power plant shortly before 15:00.

The spokesman said: "Operations Control mobilised six fire engines to the scene, where firefighters were met by a small fire involving felt located upon the roof of a building."

Charges were reportedly used to demolish the site's disused bunker bay.

Officials from Scottish Power, the owner of the site, said there was some burning afterwards, but this was expected and that some remaining coal dust resulted in dark smoke being visible locally.

Locals responded to the explosion on social media, with eyewitnesses describing hearing a 'big bang'.

Coal generation

In 2016, Longannet was closed as part of commitment by both ScottishPower and parent company Iberdrola to rely less on fossil fuels.

Demolition work is still ongoing and over 28 000 t of material has reportedly been removed from the site so far, with 98.5% of this being recovered and recycled.

ScottishPower recently became the first integrated energy company in the UK to transition from coal and gas generation to 100% renewable energy.

International parent company Iberdrola aims to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020, and 50% by 2030 compared to 2007 and be carbon neutral by 2050.

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