Methil Power Station

Methil Power Station 1 (by Ben Cooper)

Methil Power Station is a coal-slurry power plant built in 1965 on the coast of Fife where the River Leven joins the sea. Coal slurry is the low-grade byproduct of coal washeries, consisting of mainly coal dust and water. Methil’s two 30MW generating units were specially built to burn this slurry, which came from the neighbouring Fife coalfields by road and rail. Google’s aerial imagery shows the rail lines which have now been ripped up.

As the Fife coalfields closed, supplies of the slurry dried up, and the plant closed in the mid ’90s – a brief trial using one generating unit to burn refuse for power wasn’t a success. The plant is now scheduled for demolition.

The slurry store, and the elevated hoppers for fueling the boilers, with one of the two gantry cranes:

Methil Power Station 5 (by Ben Cooper)

Methil is definitely a child of the ’60s, with two pink English Electric turbines:

Methil Power Station 8 (by Ben Cooper)

One of two turbine control panels:

Methil Power Station 39 (by Ben Cooper)

It must have been noisy in the control room – it’s a box between the turbines and the boilers, which doesn’t look very soundproofed:

Methil Power Station 30 (by Ben Cooper)

Higher up in the boilers:

Methil Power Station 15 (by Ben Cooper)

Lower down, some Howden dust collectors:

Methil Power Station 27 (by Ben Cooper)

And some Howden blowers:

Methil Power Station 29 (by Ben Cooper)

With some transformers and Mirrlees Watson equipment:

Methil Power Station 44 (by Ben Cooper)

The solvents section is also very colourful:

Methil Power Station 43 (by Ben Cooper)

The admin building is connected to the powerplant by a couple of angled bridges:

Methil Power Station 36 (by Ben Cooper)

In the admin building are the labs:

Methil Power Station 34 (by Ben Cooper)

With some samples:

Methil Power Station 33 (by Ben Cooper)

And the changing rooms:

Methil Power Station 35 (by Ben Cooper)

Back into the powerplant and up onto the crane gantry:

Methil Power Station 41 (by Ben Cooper)

The crane itself has elegant curved beams:

Methil Power Station 42 (by Ben Cooper)

And finally a couple of panoramas – the turbine floor:

Methil Power Station 46 (by Ben Cooper)

And up inbetween the boilers:

Methil Power Station 47 (by Ben Cooper)

Watch a full-screen slideshow, or browse the full image collection:

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157616951833965″]

3 Responses

  1. Hi Ben.Great site and excellent photography.My mate here in kirkcaldy worked there till closure.He did a variety of jobs,including driving one of the gantry cranes.He told me,a local artist was brought in to paint all the plant vivid colours to brighten the place up.I myself was sent to the plant a couple of times to repair the window in the floor of one of the cranes.when i was a glazier.Turbine hall was roasting.Then out to the roof.Freezing.

  2. Aye, it gets some brisk winds off the North Sea 😉 Gantry cranes almost always seem to be yellow, but the other colours are interesting…

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