Watch as blast brings Redcar power station to ground as part of steelworks clearance

The final blast to demolish Teesside's former steelworks site has taken place.

The Redcar steelworks, which closed in 2015, is being knocked down to prepare the ground for regeneration as part of the Teesworks project.

Using 3,300kg of explosives, a total of 38 structures have been razed to the ground over the last two years.

On Thursday 29 June, the Redcar Power Station's chimney stack, triple flare stack and gas holder was brought down with 120kg of explosives.

Former steelworker, Karl Dickinson, said: "It's bitter sweet. Everything needs to come down. What people forget is the site has been like this for the last eight years so it needs to move on."

Fellow steelworker, Graham Hill, added: "Bit of sadness yeah but happy memories. People remember the happy memories instead of the sad ones and I think that is what it is all about today. Just remember the good times."

The programme has seen the following structures demolished:

  • The Pulverised Coal Injection Plant and Conveyors with 65kg of explosives

  • Redcar Coke Ovens Battery Bunkers, Conveyors, Junction Houses and Chimneys with 50kg

  • The Sinter Plant and Chimney with 450kg of explosives

  • The 70m tall Basic Oxygen Supply Plant – one of the largest demolitions in UK history – with 1,600kg of explosives.

  • Redcar Blast Furnace and its four stoves with 175kg of explosives

  • Redcar Raw Materials Handling – Junction Houses and Conveyors – with 60kg of explosives.

  • Redcar Stock houses, Conveyors and Junction Houses and Conveyors – 125kg of explosives.

  • South Bank Coke Ovens Battery Bunkers, Dorman Long Tower, Junction Houses and Conveyors – 450kg of explosives.

  • South Bank Coke Ovens By-Products – Gas Holder 45kg of explosives.

  • Redcar Coke Ovens By-Products – Screen House, Gas Holder and Ammonia Stack with 60kg of explosives.

  • Redcar Power Station – Gas Holder, Triple Flare Stack, De-aerator Bay, Chimney – with 120kg of explosives.

The Redcar Power Station provided electricity to the Steelworks at Redcar. It was fuelled from by-products of the iron making process in the Blast Furnace.

Its primary function was to provide cold blast air for the blast furnace. Excess gas which came from the coke ovens and the blast furnace was used in the boiler heating process to generate more electricity.

The Redcar Blast Furnace stood for over 40 years and began producing steel in 1979. It ceased production in 2010 before being restarted again

The furnace was lain dormant in 2010 before being restarted by SSI UK when they took over its ownership from Tata Steel in 2012.

In 2015, SSI entered liquidation, sparking the loss of more than 2,000 jobs overnight.

Lord Michael Heseltine, who pioneered the concept of Mayoral Development Corporations - was invited as a special guest to push the button for the final demolition.

He said: "Well, it's hugely exciting because it was controversial at the time and one of the tougher battles I had to fight in my political career. Here it is on the ground."

Referring to Teesworks plans for the future he added: "It patently is going to be a huge success."

In May, the government announced an independent panel would review allegations of corruption around Teesworks, which have been strongly denied by those involved in the site.

When asked how he can reassure investors, the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "Well, we can't at the moment. I mean, there are investors that we are speaking to where we try to give them reassurance but now ultimately, everyone is waiting for the outcome of the investigation."

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