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Endesa awards the contract to dismantle the Andorra thermal plant to the Moncobra-Rebilita joint venture

Andorra thermal power plant (Teruel)
Andorra thermal power plant (Teruel)
  • The works, which will last 48 months and create 140 jobs, will be compatible with the installation of the first of the renewable projects of Endesa's Futur-e Plan on the perimeter of the plant.
  • 80% of the workers taking part in the dismantling will come from the plant's auxiliary companies or will be residents in the towns near the plant.
  • The award is part of the bill totalling over 60 million euros that Endesa will have to pay in order to leave the site in a position to technically be able to build the renewable development planned for the area.

Endesa has awarded the Moncobra-Rebilita joint venture the contract to dismantle the Teruel thermal power plant outside the town of Andorra, an operation of great technical complexity that will employ around 140 people over a four-year period. 80% of the workers taking part in the dismantling work will be from Andorra and towns near the plant.

The award is part of the bill totalling over 60 million euros that Endesa will have to pay in order to leave the site in a position to technically be able to build the renewable development planned for the area. The planned date of implementation and start of work on the infrastructure works will be October, once the corresponding authorisations have been obtained, with dismantling work taking place throughout November.

The team responsible for the dismantling work will mostly come from former Endesa contractor companies or from residents of the Andorra-Sierra de Arcos and Bajo Aragón regions. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Endesa has given priority in awarding the contract to the bid that sought to employ the largest number of local workers, among other aspects. Training will be given to these workers, which aims to improve trust, ties with the local community and the employability of workers in the area, one of the shared value creation measures outlined in Endesa's Futur-e plan.

The courses are being held within the framework of the collaboration agreement between the Aragon Employment Institute (INAEM), the Andorra Council and Endesa. They have been divided into three professional training programmes in which 950 students selected by INAEM will take part.

The training, which will focus on dismantling the plant and specifically the prevention of occupational hazards, will be given to 200 students in four groups. There will also be courses on the assembly, operation and maintenance of solar panels that will reach 750 students in 18 groups.

The dismantling of the Andorran thermal power plant is unusual in that it has to make the demolition work compatible with work on the future renewable electricity generation parks on the same site. This will make it necessary to carry out exhaustive planning and coordination of the work, prioritising occupational health and safety and all aspects related to environmental protection.

The first of the projects outlined in the Futur-e Plan will be carried out simultaneously with the dismantling work within the perimeter of the plant. This is a 50 megawatts (MW) photovoltaic solar park which has already been submitted to the Aragon Regional Government's Department of Industry, Competitiveness and Business Development for administrative approval.

It represents the first phase of Endesa's Futur-e plan, which will start in January 2021 and conclude in early 2022, and which, in addition to the construction of this solar park on the site of the old plant, also includes the construction of a 49.4 MW wind farm, which will be installed in the municipality of Ejulve (also submitted for administrative processing).

The second phase will add 235 megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy and 54.3 MW of battery storage, which will also be largely installed within the perimeter of the existing thermal power plant. Work on the project will last 15 months from March 2022 to June 2023 and will coincide with the dismantling works.

During the third and final phase, which is scheduled to begin in May 2023 and end in early 2026, facilities generating 1,300 MW of photovoltaic power, 90 MW of wind power and 105 MW of battery storage are scheduled to be built. The facilities associated with these phases are planned to be built on land in the municipalities of Andorra, Alcorisa, Alcañiz, Calanda and Híjar.

Endesa already has a connection point for the first two phases, while the third phase - generating 1,390 megawatts of power - depends on an allocation by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition regarding the evacuation capacity of the Andorra thermal power plant.

 

Comprehensive management of the dismantling project

The management of the demolition project will be carried out by a highly qualified team, as required by a task as complex as this to be carried out in Andorra. Work will begin in October, after the Moncobra-Rebilita joint venture is set up in the area.

To carry out the integrated management of the dismantling, a selective demolition system will be used to segregate and classify the 259,780 tons of debris resulting from the demolition. This method, together with the application of the circular economy in waste management, will allow maximum use of waste, either for subsequent reuse or as a raw material.

When the thermal power plant officially ceased operation on 30 June, it had three groups, generating 1,101.4 MW of total power, which came on line between 1979 and 1980. The plant facilities occupy an area of 469 hectares, in three clearly differentiated areas: one housing the electricity generation groups, another that houses desulfurization plants and another in which coal and limestone is stored.

Endesa, as the developer, will apply a selective demolition system, which is defined as “the set of operations carried out in a gradual and coordinated way to make the most of the materials that constitute the demolition waste, thus minimising the fraction to be dumped". This is a very ambitious goal, bearing in mind that waste will exceed 259,780 tonnes.

In order to reduce the effects on the environment as much as possible, a comprehensive environmental surveillance plan will be implemented and monitored, with special attention paid to emissions and discharges during the execution of the work.

Within the notion of circular economy to which Endesa is committed, the reuse of concrete waste is planned, employing crushing equipment with the capacity to treat 300 tons per hour featuring a jaw crusher, a magnetic separator for the segregation of the detached reinforcements and a sieve for the classification of the crushed concrete. The reinforcement steel and recycled aggregate can therefore be recovered to be used to fill the gaps generated by the works, as well as in the morphological remodelling of the land after demolition.

Gypsum, bituminous mixtures, uncontaminated rock and earth, refractory linings, sludge containing hazardous substances, calcium residues, ash and wood containing hazardous substances will all be loaded directly onto vehicles for transport to an authorised manager. As far as possible, transformer waste will also be sent to an authorised manager, although the most voluminous will be previously dismantled in a warehouse.

Fibre and asbestos waste will be removed by specialist companies and not stored on site. In the case of hazardous waste, there will be at least ten closed 30 m3 containers for solids and fifty 1,000-litre drums for liquids. Discarded chemicals will also be stored in drums.

The reuse of some mechanical equipment and tanks in good condition may be considered during the project. If this is not deemed to be viable, all the waste generated will also be sent to an authorised waste manager.

 

Seven demolition zones

Endesa has grouped the demolition areas by standardised systems and facilities existing on the site. The demolition zones are as follows:

Zone 1. Turbines: This comprises the turbine buildings for groups 1, 2 and 3. It also contains the main equipment, such as generators, turbines, condensers, heaters, transformers and other associated facilities.

Zone 2. Boilers: Includes boilers, pre-heaters, electrostatic precipitators and gas lines.

Zone 3. Gas desulfurization plants: three gas desulfurization plants with their components, a gypsum dehydration building, a water treatment plant, a pump hall, an electrical building, gypsum belts and silos.

Zone 4. Slender structures: facilities whose dismantling and demolition will be carried out by blasting, such as the 343 metre-high chimney and the three 101 metre-high cooling towers.

Zone 5. Coal facilities: all coal storage facilities, stacking machines, collectors, back extractors, trippers, the coal crushing building, mineral transfer towers, electric coaling buildings, sampling towers, scales, coal hoppers, fuel transport belts, coal unloading areas etc.

Zone 6. Other buildings and miscellaneous structures: Included in this area are the general facilities that are outside the scope of the previous areas, such as the office building, raw water tank and pre-treatment area, cooling water basins, warehouses and workshops etc.

Zone 7. Specific elements: Interior railway for unloading coal and loading ashes and buried galleries.

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