Disused chimneys of the Elektrėnai complex will be dismantled due to poor condition


20 February 2018

“Lietuvos energijos gamyba”, taking into account the fact that two disused chimneys of the Elektrėnai complex pose a greater threat to people’s safety every year, initiates the chimneys dismantling project. This decision was made after taking into consideration the actual condition of the chimneys: tests that were done last year showed that two out of three chimneys of the power plant are too affected by damaging environmental factors and are no longer safe.

The power plant that was widely known as the Lithuania Power Plant underwent significant changes over the last six years. Only two out of eight units of the old power plant are currently active. Others due to low competition and decreased need for reserves could no longer be used on today’s electricity market, so they have been dismantled or are being dismantled now. Thus, both chimneys to be dismantled have not been in use since 2014.

“The chimneys may be seen from far away, they became part of the contemporary Elektrėnai skyline and a symbol of the emerging city in the early 1960s when the Lithuania Power Plant was built. We understood the importance of this symbol to Elektrėnai residents and considered the possibility of performing major repairs and preserving the chimneys. However, it was discovered that repairing one chimney would cost over a million euro, while the use of the chimneys would be extended only temporarily because there are no prospects of using such chimneys,” says Eglė Čiužaitė, Chairperson of the Board and CEO at “Lietuvos energijos gamyba”.

When the chimneys are not in use, maintenance costs and threat to people’s safety are too high. The company determined that the most rational solution would be to dismantle both chimneys one after the other. The company plans to announce the procurement of dismantling works in 2018.

It is planned that the chimney in worse condition, that is, the 250 m high middle chimney, which was used to release the smoke emitted by the fifth and the sixth units that are being currently dismantled, will be dismantled first. This chimney is damaged because electrochemical corrosion of the fittings has begun and the chimney shows signs of a condemned building. It is planned that this chimney will be dismantled by the end of 2019.

Later, the smaller 150 m high chimney, which was used to release the smoke of the now completely dismantled units one to four, will be dismantled as well.

Dismantling works of such tall chimneys have never been done in Lithuania. According to the information available to the company, several companies in Central Europe have the necessary experience to be shared with partners in Lithuania as many similar structures have been dismantled in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

After both disused chimneys are dismantled, one 250 m high chimney, which is used to release the smoke of the seventh and the eighth units of the backup power plant, will remain on the Elektrėnai skyline. This chimney was reconstructed in 2014. Without additional significant investments, the seventh and the eighth units may remain in use until 2023, until they no longer comply with increasingly stringent pollution requirements.