RVA Group facilitates complex demolition project for French energy leader

RVA Group, a renowned global engineering consultant, has successfully supported phase one of a three-stage decommissioning and demolition project at the Lucy III power station in Montceau-les-Mines, France.

The works involved the precise demolition of a 140m tall concrete chimney stack and a 100m high hyperbolic concrete cooling tower, both of which were integral components of the closed power production plant.

GazelÉnergie — a leading energy producer in France with a diverse portfolio of coal and biomass fuelled power plants, wind and solar farms, and 11,500 supply points — entrusted RVA Group with the role of control and advice when overseeing the appointed demolition and explosives contractor. The consultant's role included assessing best practices, design, and procedures for the demolition, ensuring the project adhered to stringent safety standards and environmental regulations.

A strategic shift in company operations, including a reduction in coal power generation, coupled with the plant’s ageing infrastructure, had seen the Lucy III power station out of service for several years. In accordance with the French Energy Transition Act, GazelÉnergie continues to invest in sustainable energy solutions, having already reduced CO2 emissions by more than half since 2008, contributing significantly to France’s overall decarbonisation efforts.

With only two to three months allocated for the design and implementation of the demolition and blowdown, RVA Group, in collaboration with third parties, successfully executed the fast track project within the allocated timeframe. Two explosives were initiated within seconds of each other, to minimise the disruption to the local residents and road systems.

Mark Taylor, engineering and consultancy director at RVA Group, expressed his satisfaction with the project, stating, "We are proud of our team's dedication to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety throughout this project, despite the quick turnaround timescales. Maintaining dialogue with key stakeholders from start to finish, along with our demonstrated experience in cooling tower and complex structure explosive demolition, played crucial roles in driving efficiency, safety, and compliance. We are honoured to contribute to GazelÉnergie's sustainable energy initiatives.”

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