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Didcot B repair work announced

Npower has announced a programme of works to restore the Didcot B cooling tower, which was damaged as a result of a fire in October 2014.

The energy company has been searching for contractors to undertake the project to repair the damage that was caused to module five of the Didcot B cooling tower in Oxfordshire. The search to find contractors took six months and Npower have now announced that SPX Cooling Technologies has been selected to complete the repair work.

Cells 19 and 22 of the cooling tower were also damaged during the fire, but this was only minor. Npower states that they will be back in service in the summer of 2015 and cells 20 and 21, which received more extensive damage, should be restored and be back in use by September 2015.

Work will also need to be completed to repair the fans of the cooling towers; it is expected that this work will be finished by December 2015.

Due to damage that has been caused to the towers, Npower state that it will be necessary to rebuild the entirety of some units. However, components that weren’t so badly affected by the effects of the flames can be repaired.

As well as employing outside contractors to do some of the work, the owners of Npower, RWE, will complete some of the repair work itself.

Commenting on the repairs, the manager of the Didcot B power station said:

‘We are pleased to announce the project to repair the cooling tower of Module 5 has begun. The power station has been available to generate since the fire but the repairs will enable us to achieve a higher efficiency, and full station capacity as we approach the winter months.’

‘I would like to again thank the emergency services who worked alongside RWE teams to bring the fire under control quickly and safely.’

The Didcot B power station fire made headline news in 2014. The BBC reported that 100 firefighters and 25 fire engines were called out to control the blaze. As a result of the fire, Npower said the station would need to be closed down for the foreseeable future while the repairs were carried out.

The fire started in one of the Didcot B cooling station but soon spread to a number of the other towers.

Following an investigation into the cause of the fire, Npower have since identified a fault within the fan unit, which the power company says started the blaze.

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