Athlone Power Station
|Athlone Power Station|
Aerial view of the Power Station, after the demolition of the cooling towers.
|Location||Kewtown, Athlone, Cape Town|
|Owner(s)||City of Cape Town|
|Thermal power station|
|Cooling source||Reclaimed sewage|
|Nameplate capacity||180 MW|
Athlone Power Station was situated on the N2 freeway into the city, consisted of a large brick generation building, two 99m brick chimneys, and two cooling towers, fed by reclaimed water from a nearby sewage plant. It was commissioned in 1962 with 6 turbines with a nominal capacity of 180 megawatts, and operated by the City of Cape Town. Between 1985 and 1994 the station was held on standby, but it resumed generating in 1995 with a reduced capacity of 120 MW. Between 1995 and 2003 it was mainly used to generate power in peak demand periods and during power failures of the national grid. In 2003, significant investment was required due to the age of the power station, and generation was stopped.
Athlone was the last coal-fired power station operating in Cape Town; the others, in the city centre and Salt River, were demolished in the 1980s and 1990s. The cost of transport means that coal costs three to five times more in Cape Town than it does near the mines inland, making it more economical to transmit power from there to Cape Town than to generate power in Cape Town from transported coal.
The lifespan of the station's two cooling towers towers had been extended in 1993 through the addition of reinforcing bands, but on 14 February 2010, the bands on one tower collapsed, leading the city to announce that the towers would be demolished by the end of April 2010 to prevent their collapse; the demolition was postponed to 22 August 2010 when they were finally demolished.
The power station building and two 99m high chimneys are still standing while the city decides on the future of the site.
- "Study on future of Athlone Power Station site progressing well". 2009-11-02.
- "City of Cape Town to Privatize the Athlone Power Station". 2002.
- Steenkamp, Willem (2006-09-09). "Power station could be reborn as a cultural hub". Cape Argus.
- "Salt River Power Station". Eskom. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05.
- "Athlone Towers to be demolished - report". IOL. 2010-02-14.
- Wagiet, Rafiq (2010-02-14). "Athlone towers to be demolished by April". Eyewitness News.
- "Athlone towers to bite dust soon". IOL. 15 July 2010.
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