The company Endesa announces the demolition during the last quarter of the year of one of the two symbolic chimneys of the Las Caletillas thermal power plant, in the municipality of Candelaria. The action is part of a planned dismantling process on the way to decarbonization and a future oriented towards the use of renewable energies.
Las Caletillas is much more than the thermal power plant located in its geographical limits, but the thermal power plant is also a symbol of this neighborhood of Villa Mariana since its construction, in the seventies of the last century. The two large interior chimneys characterize from that moment the landscape of the infrastructure and its surroundings. Endesa warns that it is preparing the demolition of one of these emblems. Today it is very easy to criticize the environmental impact and the possible contamination they generate, but when the area was built it had nothing to do with what it is.
Las Caletillas was then just a small village with a very small population who lived from fishing and to a lesser extent from agriculture. The tourist boom in the south of Tenerife was the origin of an urbanization and the first hotel in this part of the island. Currently, as Candelaria, the town to which it belongs, it is a dormitory town for the nearby capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The importance that the Las Caletillas Thermal Power Plant has had for the island’s electricity supply cannot be denied, but when the path is renewable energy, it is logical that locals (neighbors) and strangers (visitors) demand its dismantling. A path already started that will continue with the demolition, before the end of the year, of one of the two large chimneys Endesa plans, first of all, the gradual demolition of one of them, an event that will mark a milestone in the energy history of the Canary Islands.
The two chimneys of the plant have been out of service since October 3, 2010. Their useful life ended with 20,000 hours of operation, just the time established by Royal Decree 430/2004, which contemplates stricter emission limitation standards of certain polluting agents from large combustion plants such as this one.
With the dismantling of the Las Caletillas chimney, the complete dismantling and removal of material from steam groups 3 and 4, both already unavailable, will also be carried out. Both add 487,770 hours of operation. This recall includes turbines, generators, condensers and ancillary equipment as highlights.
A complex unprecedented dismantling operation in the Canary Islands that complies with the plans already advanced by Endesa to walk in the line of decarbonization and in a future oriented towards renewable energies and new generation units that respect the environment. The work will be carried out in phases to make the installation as safe as possible.
The technicians announce that it will be a “complicated” dismantling as it will require several actions and will have to be carried out by a specialized company. The next few days will go out to tender the work whose budget amounts to 1,097,000 euros.
The director of Endesa’s Generation area in the Canary Islands, Saúl Barrio, explains that the groups that are now being dismantled were essential for the development of Tenerife, but it is time to give way to another type of energy.
The chimney has a height of 76.5 meters. With the shape of a conical trunk, the diameter at its base is 6.22 meters and 3.70 at its crown. The thickness of the shaft is also variable. The exterior is structured in reinforced concrete. The workers in charge of environmental control accessed the middle height by means of a ladder and an elevator, while the highest part can only be climbed by the metal ladder attached to the shaft.