West Thurrock Power Station

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West Thurrock Power Station
West Thurrock Power Station.jpg
West Thurrock Power Station, 1973.
LocationEssex, East of England
Coordinates51°28′10″N 0°17′20″E / 51.469573°N 0.288756°E / 51.469573; 0.288756Coordinates: 51°28′10″N 0°17′20″E / 51.469573°N 0.288756°E / 51.469573; 0.288756
Commission date1962
Decommission date1993
Thermal power station
Primary fuelCoal
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

grid reference TQ589770

West Thurrock Power Station was a coal-fired power station on the River Thames at Stone Ness, West Thurrock in Essex. The station was at the northern end of the 400 kV Thames Crossing of the National Grid.


The station was built by the Central Electricity Generating Board and, unlike most of the power stations further up the Thames, West Thurrock was built on a 37 hectare green field site, 1.5 miles west of Grays. Construction, which included the piling and landfilling of the marshy riverside, took several years, starting in 1957 and continuing until 1965 - although the first generator was commissioned in 1962. It was the first CEGB station designed to exceed 1000 MW, having a final output of 1300 MW.[1] The station had two 200 MW units (built by CA Parsons and commissioned 1962 & 1963) and three of 300 MW units (by Associated Electrical Industries and commissioned 1964 & 1965) housed in a reinforced concrete turbine hall. The boilers were unusual being open to the elements and were originally designed to burn pulverised coal. They were adapted to burn natural gas between 1971 and 1980, and heavy fuel oil burning facilities were added in 1985.[1] The station had two 175 m (574 ft) tall chimneys made from reinforced concrete.[2]

A bulk unloader from the power station still in use at West Thurrock Jetty, 2010

After the UK's electric supply industry was privatised in 1989, West Thurrock was operated by National Power. In 1992, one of the station's units were decommissioned. The station's other four units were decommissioned in 1993.[3] The closure left a stockpile of nearly half a million tonnes of coal, which was transported downstream to the nearby Tilbury Power Station by Rhine barge.[4]

After demolition part of the site was redeveloped as a works making industrial chemicals for the adjacent Procter & Gamble works and utilising the former coaling jetty. A proposal to build a large postal sorting office on the former fly-ash lagoons proved controversial due to the wildlife that had colonised the site.

An unusual feature of the site is the northern end of the pair of 192 metre tall pylons supporting the 400 kV link across the river Thames.[1]


  1. ^ a b c 'The power stations of the lower Thames', National Monuments Record Centre, September 1995.
  2. ^ Demolition contractor's website Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Table 3.7 - Generation Disconnections since 1991". http://www.nationalgrid.com/. National Grid. 2003. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2009. External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ "West Thurrock Power Station". West Thurrock Power Station. Retrieved 3 May 2010.

External links[edit]