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carbon neutral

Barking Power Station Pipeline Decommissioning

The client:Corporation of London
Services:Access and licensing agreements with Landowners, decommissioning of redundant pipeline including grouting up using Low Carbon VE alternative.
Duration:June 2023 – January 2024

The Challenge:

The works involved the decommissioning of the Barking Power Limited (BPL) 610mm (24’’) nominal diameter natural gas pipeline running from BPL’s Above Ground Installation (AGI) at Hordon in the east and to the AGI within the Barking Reach Power Station in the west, a distance of 19.1km. 

Barking Reach Power Station ceased generation on 24th July 2014 and the plant was shut down and the pipeline stopped supplying natural gas from the National Transmission System (NTS) on 28th October 2014, with the stations permanent closure in November 2014.

The aim of the project was to decommission the pipeline and make safe as per the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guideline this will be completed by grouting the entirety of the pipeline and removal of all AGIs.

The pipeline stretched over a distance of traversing different locations from urban setting to open countryside and farmers field, each requiring differing environmental, ecological, and archaeological considerations as well as technical and engineering constraints such as access, utilities, and ground conditions.

Gaining permission and access to the 54 work sites/cut-points involved careful planning and liaison with the 36 different landowners along the route along with a myriad of regulatory and other stakeholders.

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The Approach

Value Engineering

The project team spent considerable time perfecting the right grout mix taking into consideration the length of pipes between cut-points, up to 500m in some location as well as workability and carbon footprint consideration.

Cognition proposed a low carbon cement (CEM III/B) cement/bentonite grout as an alternative to the specified foamed concrete. This contained up to 80%cggbs cement replacement which had the following benefit over the specified foamed concrete:

  • Less embedded carbon trough cement replacement
  • Improved pumpability of grout, greater distance pumped.
  • Increased workability duration enabling greater transit time for delivery trucks.

Stakeholder Management

A key consideration on the project was the timely and effective liaison with the 36 different landowners and myriad of regulatory and other stakeholders involved in the project.

At tender stage, Cognition recognised the importance of proactive stakeholder management not only for the smooth progress of the works but to ensure the reputation of all those involved in the project is maintained and goodwill from the public is enhanced.

Cognition established a dedicated team engaged in gaining all the necessary approvals, permits and wayleaves required well in advance of the programme dates. This team also provided a central contact point for the landowners to keep them updated, alleviate any concerns, or inform change.

For example, the project team was able to re-schedule work on a famer’s field to enable harvest which had been delayed by weather to be carried out due to early engagement by the access team.


The Outcome

Meticulous planning and effective stakeholder management together with a production line approach to the establishment, execution and reinstatement of the 54 number worksite enabled the project to be completed to budget and 4 months earlier than envisaged by the Client.

All works was carried out with the utmost regard to Health, Safety, Environment and Quality standards while maintaining local community goodwill and delivering the requirements of Planning commitments with regards to Archaeology, ecology, and stakeholder engagement.

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