Cheshire: Major demolition plans unveiled for chemical site

Power stations, cooling towers and a sulfuric acid complex are among a string of buildings set to be razed as part of major demolition work planned at a chemical site in Cheshire.

A planning notice has been submitted by chemical giant Inovyn Chlorvinyls to flatten parts of its gigantic plant in Weston Point, Runcorn.

The buildings, which the company called “redundant industrial structures,” include the Weston Point power plant chimney, two cooling towers, hydrogen vent processing plants, hydrogen storage tanks, the Weaver power station, a sulfuric acid plant, a liquid chlorine manufacturing facility and a combined heat and power plant (CHP).

Demolition work could begin as early as September 26 and would be part of a five-year regeneration project. Work will also be undertaken to remove what the company has called “hazardous insulating materials” such as asbestos.

The request to Halton City Council’s planning department said: ‘Items and structures will be carefully separated and lifted by mobile crane to ground level before being processed and separated into the appropriate waste streams.’

He added: ‘The chimney at Weston Point Power Station is planned to be smashed from top to bottom using a chimney demolition cradle. No explosives or slaughter will be allowed.

A spokeswoman for Ineos told Le Monde: “This planning notice is part of our ongoing regeneration plan for Runcorn and is in its developmental stages in terms of scope and planning.

“We will of course communicate with the local community and other stakeholders as details of the work program are confirmed, as we have done with other phases of the plan.”

Parent company Ineos announced last year that it was investing £2bn in green hydrogen projects at its sites, part of which was going to Runcorn to create dedicated on-site facilities for the purification and compression of low-carbon hydrogen.

He said the move would secure the future of the plant and its supply chains, with the company employing around 800 people at three sites in the North West and supporting an additional 7,000 jobs.