Ince Power Station
|Ince Power Station|
Ince A power station, 1957
|Location||Cheshire, North West England|
|Operator(s)||Central Electricity Authority
Central Electricity Generating Board
|grid reference SJ462760|
When the uranium enrichment plant at Capenhurst opened in 1949, it was realised that its power demand would require the construction of a new power station nearby. Rendel, Palmer & Tritton were appointed as the construction's civil engineering consultants, while the Central Electricity Authority engineered the station's electrical and mechanical plant.
The station was built on an 83-acre (340,000 m2) plot of land acquired as a result of tidal borings. The main buildings were constructed where the load-bearing sandstone was at its highest level. After the removal of 14 ft (4.3 m) of top soil it was possible to construct the buildings directly upon hard bearing sand, removing the necessity of piled foundations. However, the cooling towers and north chimney did require piled foundations as the sandstone foundation sloped away from the power station site.
The station's main buildings were of a steel framed construction. The boiler house was clad using cellactite sheet cladding, and was of a semi-outdoor construction due to the speed of construction required. The turbine hall was a brick building with prefabricated stone used on window and door surrounds. The building's roof was made from asbestos cement. The floors in the station were made of quarry tile and terrazzo. The station's coal bunkers were steel plate and girder constructions. The entire building measured 350 ft (110 m) long by 232 ft (71 m) wide, containing approximately 3,800 tonnes of steel. The station also had two 300 ft (91 m) tall chimneys. They were made from brick and had internal diameters of 16 ft (4.9 m). They were supported upon 61 ft (19 m) tall concrete plinths. The administration and amenity block was built next to the station, and connected to the turbine hall by an overhead access bridge. The block contained the station's control room, along with laboratories, administration offices, a canteen, lockers and showers. It was heated by excess steam bled from the turbines.
Ince A Power Station was opened on 9 October 1957 by Lord Citrine, the chairman of the Central Electricity Authority. The station used four 60 megawatt (MW) turbo alternators, giving the station a total generation capacity of 240 MW. Each turbine was supplied with steam from a coal-fired boiler at a rate of 550,000 lb (250,000 kg) per hour, and at a temperature of 480 °C. Each boiler and turbine set operated as an independent generating unit, with no interconnection of boilers. It was also realised mid-way through the station's construction, that the station should be capable of duel firing heavy fuel oil. Electricity was generated at 12.8 kilovolts (kV). It was then passed through a transformer which increased the voltage to 132 kV, before passing into the national grid.
Water for the station's systems was taken from the River Dee at Chester, and taken to the station by a pipeline built by the West Cheshire Water Board to serve the power station and the uranium enrichment plant. The water was cooled using four hyperboloid natural draft cooling towers. Each tower was 250 ft (76 m) tall and had a 205 ft (62 m) base diameter, with a cooling capacity of 2.75 million gallons per hour.
Ince B Power Station built as part of the Dash for Oil in the UK during the 1960s, schemed as being a base load operating power station. The choice of the Ince site for a large new oil-fired station was politically influenced as the government wanted a station in the North West of England, which led to a rumour that the power station was built with the only purpose of creating jobs.
The station's construction suffered lengthy delays. Its transmission system wasn't adequate to handle the large flow of electricity from the nuclear power stations to the north. There were also faults with the station's rotors, which required them returning to the manufacturer's works. The station eventually used two national spares. Low construction staff productivity was also a problem, which almost led to the project being completely abandoned. The station had eventually began operating by March 1984, when it achieved the second highest thermal efficiency in the country for a plant of its size, after Pembroke Power Station in Wales.
The station occupied a 125-acre (0.51 km2) site. Its boiler house measured 102.5 m (336 ft) by 49.5 m (162 ft) and 61 m (200 ft) high. The turbine hall was 123 m (404 ft) by 60 m (200 ft) and 32 m (105 ft) high. It used two 500 MW Parsons generators, along with two 25 MW Avon gas turbines. However, in 1993, one of the station's two units, Unit 5, was converted to burn orimulsion. Its boilers were provided by Clarke Chapman Ltd. The station B had a single 152.5 m (500 ft) chimney, with a diameter of 12.5 m (41 ft) which tapered to 7.6 m (25 ft). The station used a single hyperboloid induced draft cooling tower, which stood at 116.7 m (383 ft) tall.
Closure and demolition
The A Station was closed and demolished in the mid-1980s, however its single remaining cooling tower was left standing until 1999. The B Station ceased generating electricity in March 1997 and demolition of the structures commenced a couple of years later. The station's chimney was demolished on 28 April 1999. The station's cooling tower was demolished on 5 December 1999 along with the A Station's remaining cooling tower.
- Central Electricity Authority (9 October 1957). "Ince Power Station" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- Gair (2004). "INCE 'B' - THE BEGINNING" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "TECHNICAL DATA" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "Air Preheater Enhancement – Ince Power Station, UK" (HTM). http://www.howden.com/. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "THE JETTY" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "THE COOLING TOWER" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "DEMOLITION" (HTM). http://incebps.org.uk/. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "PowerGen" (HTM). http://www.ukbusinesspark.co.uk/. 26 September 1996. Retrieved 2008-12-07. "PowerGen is to stop using the controversial Orimulsion fuel with the closure of its 500-MW Ince power station at Elton near Chester next March."
- An Unofficial Ince 'B' Power Station Web Site - Website with cross sectional diagrams and photos of Ince B Power Station