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Barking Power Station Cooling Waters Tunnels Decommissioning

The client:Corporation of London
Services:Demolition, Drilling and Grouting works on land and within River Thames in a highly regulated Marine Environment with associated permitting and licencing requirements. Temporary works and enabling works including dewatering of the tunnels and monitoring of existing River wall.
Duration:June 2023 to May 2024

The Challenge:

The site is located at the disused Barking Power Station where City of London Corporation is assembling land for the relocation and amalgamations of the three London Markets.

The scope of works comprises the decommissioning of two cooling water tunnels by partial filling with cementitious grout and demolition of their associated headworks structures, at the pumping station and outfall.

The two tunnels, water intake and outfall are located between approximate depths of 45m and 38m below ground level (bgl) and are 630m and 1,165m in length, respectively. The tunnels converge at an inland pump station shaft at the former Barking Power Station.

The tunnels extend from this position southwards towards, and under, part of the river Thames. The tunnels terminate at an outfall structure, situated within the river Thames.

Grouting of the sections of tunnels under land is required in order to make the site safe for future redevelopment i.e. to prevent possible future collapse of the tunnels and settlement / instability of the ground above. The outfall structure is to be demolished to remove a navigation hazard.

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The Approach

Consents and Licences

A key consideration on the project was the consents, permits and licences required from various regulators to enable works to be carried out in a safe and efficient manner to meet the programme. These included:

  • FRAP, Flood Risk Activities Permit from Environment Agency (EA)
  • MMO Licence from Marine Management Organisation
  • Dredging Licence from PLA (Port of London Authority)
  • Water Discharge Licence
  • Trade Effluent Discharge Licence
  • Temporary River Works Licence

Through our dedicated consents and stakeholder team, all permits and licences were obtained timeously to meet the construction programme.


Stakeholder Management

Additionally, access agreements and licences needed to be agreed from both public and private landowners requiring proactive dialogue with stakeholders to ensure they were fully informed of the works and our programme.

Public landowners included:

  • Greater London Authority (GLA)
  • Crown Estates
  • PLA


Marine Works

Cognition assembled a project team including Project Director, Contracts Manager and Project Manager with a broad and extensive civil and marine experience. This coupled with local river knowledge from our specialist marine supply chain ensured that the work was meticulously planned and executed.

This was particularly important given the demolition and drilling operations required on a very busy section of the river Thames with constant river traffic using the adjacent jetties upstream and downstream of the site serving an oil storage facility and Ford Motor company respectively.


The Outcome

The grouting works are currently ongoing with demolition and drilling of the marine elements completed on time, without any incident or cause for concern from the MMO, PLA or EA.

Through the ongoing collaborative effort of the whole project team including the Client, their advisors, and our supply chain the remaining landside grouting and demolition works are currently on target for completion on time and to budget. 

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