A special circular rig that will carry specialist contractors and the equipment to dismantle the South West chimney is now in place.

The rig is set to slowly climb to the top of the chimney next week. On its way up, specialist contractors from Beroa Bierrum will record details of the chimney in its current form. The dismantling of the chimney by four hydraulic jaws attached to the rig is expected to begin in mid-July.

The chimney debris will be funnelled down a chute in the centre of the chimney, collected and recycled. Several different on-site uses for the material are being explored, including reuse as artwork.

Once the chimney has been fully dismantled, it will be rebuilt from the bottom using the same materials as the original. It will take approximately five months to dismantle, and about six months to fully rebuild the chimney to its height of approximately 50 metres.

Photo: James C Farmer, Flickr

Once the South West chimney has been reconstructed back up to a height of 25 metres above the brick washtower, work will commence simultaneously to dismantle and reconstruct the three remaining chimneys. All four chimneys are expected to be fully reconstructed in early 2016.

Justin Phillips, Partner and Director of Environment & Infrastructure, Buro Happold Engineering, said: “For over 15 years we have tried various different ways of affecting repairs to the chimneys but if they are going to be safeguarded on the skyline for future generations it has become clear they need to be dismantled and rebuilt. The process will be done sensitively using a circular rig which will gradually descend from the top as the chimney is dismantled, and then ascend shortly afterwards as the chimney is rebuilt. The rebuilt chimney will be visibly identical but the pattern of the steel reinforcement and the composition of the concrete has been improved to make the new chimneys less vulnerable to corrosion.”


Photo: Mendhak, Flickr

Meanwhile, the parkland surrounding the power station will host a series of film screenings – and the World Cup final– this summer.

The Power Of Summer will give the public a last chance to access Battersea Pop-Up Park before the area is redeveloped. The Jungle Book and Toy Story are among films being screened on Saturday afternoons.