Ene­malta com­pletes de­mo­li­tion of Marsa Power Sta­tion

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Ene­malta con­trac­tors have re­cently com­pleted the dis­man­tling and de­mo­li­tion of the Marsa Power Sta­tion, paving the way for the long-awaited re­gen­er­a­tion of this in­ner Grand Har­bour area.

Af­ter the last two chim­neys of the Marsa Power Sta­tion were pulled down in De­cem­ber, the few re­main­ing struc­tures on site, in­clud­ing one of the tur­bine halls and sev­eral fuel tanks, were re­moved dur­ing the last few months, to com­plete the project on sched­ule a few weeks ago.

The site has now been cleared of all elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion equip­ment and build­ings, down to ground level. Ene­malta will soon launch tech­ni­cal tests of the un­der­ground foun­da­tions of the struc­tures. These stud­ies will pro­vide data re­quired for the plan­ning of the site’s fu­ture use as well as any ground de­con­tam­i­na­tion pro­cesses that may be nec­es­sary.

The dis­man­tling and de­mo­li­tion of the 1953 Marsa Power Sta­tion in­cluded the grad­ual re­moval of the power sta­tion’s eight heavy fuel oil-fired units and sev­eral other re­lated struc­tures, as soon as they were no longer re­quired for elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion or as emer­gency ca­pac­ity on cold standby.

The dis­man­tling process started in Oc­to­ber 2014, a few months be­fore the power sta­tion was switched off for the last time in March of the fol­low­ing year. Works on site gath­ered pace in the be­gin­ning of 2017, when the new De­li­mara 4 Power Sta­tion was com­mis­sioned and the last re­main­ing Marsa Power Sta­tion units on cold standby were dis­con­nected from the na­tional grid.

The de­mo­li­tion con­trac­tors re­moved over 12,000 tonnes of con­crete and other build­ing ma­te­ri­als from the power sta­tion site. Another 17,000 tonnes of met­als, in­clud­ing steel, copper and alu­minium, and 320 tonnes of elec­tric­ity ca­bles were ex­ported for re­cy­cling. All ma­te­ri­als were sep­a­rated on site and carted away in ad­her­ence to strict waste man­age­ment pro­ce­dures. Dust abate­ment and other pol­lu­tion con­trol mea­sures were in place to safe­guard the well­be­ing of res­i­dents and work­ers in the area dur­ing the en­tire process.

Last week, Ene­malta launched a short doc­u­men­tary about the dif­fer­ent stages in­volved in this project. The video, which in­cludes a two-year time-lapse se­quence of the site clear­ance, is avail­able on YouTube and the com­pany’s Face­book page, fb.me/ene­plc.

The old­est parts of the Marsa Power Sta­tion, known as the A Sta­tion, in­clud­ing sev­eral un­der­ground tun­nels be­neath Je­suits’ Hill, will be re­tained. These his­toric tun­nels are be­ing care­fully used by Ene­malta and Stream­cast Tech­nolo­gies to house a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional data cen­tres. The tun­nels are suited for this kind of de­vel­op­ment due to their se­cu­rity and sta­ble, low tem­per­a­tures. At the same time, data cen­tre equip­ment in­stal­la­tions do not re­quire any struc­tural mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the tun­nel struc­tures. The first of these data cen­tres was in­au­gu­rated ear­lier this year.

A stand­alone diesel gen­er­a­tor in­stalled at the Marsa Power Sta­tion in 1990 for emer­gency use will re­main on site while the com­pany con­cludes tech­ni­cal plans for its re­lo­ca­tion to De­li­mara Power Sta­tion, next to other sim­i­lar gen­er­a­tors cur­rently in use.

Ing. Fredrick Az­zopardi, Ene­malta chair­man, ex­plained that the dis­man­tling of the Marsa Power Sta­tion opens up promis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for Marsa and for the in­ner Grand Har­bour area. “While the tech­ni­cal tests on site are un­der­way, we will also be draft­ing plans for the fu­ture use of this 66,500 me­tre squared site. This plan­ning process will in­volve the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all stake­hold­ers con­cerned, in­clud­ing the res­i­dents of Marsa. This com­mu­nity has been wait­ing to wit­ness the end of the Marsa Power Sta­tion’s en­vi­ron­men­tal dif­fi­cul­ties for decades. By the be­gin­ning of 2019, Ene­malta will be in a po­si­tion to an­nounce pro­pos­als for the site’s re­gen­er­a­tion, in line with the plan­ning poli­cies of this re­gion.”

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