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Athlone towers in Cape Town to be demolished

06/08/2010

Cape Town - The two cooling towers at the decommissioned Athlone power station in Cape Town will be demolished after a reinforcement ring around one structure collapsed early on Sunday, the city said.

The N2 was briefly closed as a precaution after the ring, fitted 18 years ago, crashed to the ground, Alderman Clive Justus from the mayoral committee for utilities said.

He said the highway was reopened after structural engineers advised that there was no danger to passing cars.

Justus said the landmark towers would be torn down as soon as the council had studied a report by engineers and put in place measures to ensure municipal services were not disrupted.

Transformers

The tower site houses transformers for the transmission of electricity to southern suburbs, and a water reticulation system on site to cool down the transformers.

"This is why the city would have to take care in any demolition process not to affect this cooling system or the operation of the transformers so as to ensure a constant supply of electricity to consumers," Justus said.

He said the towers themselves served no useful purpose. Electricity generation on the site was stopped in 2002 and it was decommissioned in 2006.

A preliminary assessment by engineers found that the loss of the ring would not necessarily compromise the cooling operations.

Justus said the city was monitoring the situation and would receive a more comprehensive report on Monday.

The city would then decide how and when to demolish the towers.

Article Issued on behalf of SAPA

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