By Tamas Mondovics
For Apollo Beach area residents 2017 started off with a significant landscape change when Tampa Electric Company (TECO) announced the demolition of its original red-and-white-striped chimney at its Big Bend Power Station. The 500-foot-tall chimney, one of four that has been standing tall at the plant, for the past half-century painted with red and white stripes, as was traditional at the time is now only in the memory of the ever-growing community.
Original Story printed Jan 2017
Tampa Electric Company (TECO) has once made headlines last month after announcing the demolition of its original red-and-white-striped chimney at its Big Bend Power Station.
In a press release late November, company officials said that the change for the Apollo Beach skyline will begin in January.
“This will change the landscape,” said TECO Big Bend Station director Ron Bishop. “Big Bend’s chimneys have been landmarks in Apollo Beach for decades.”
The 500-ft.-tall chimney, one four standing tall at the plant, was built in 1968 and painted with red and white stripes, as was traditional at the time. It served Big Bend Units 1 and 2 for more than three decades.
With attention to the well-recognized landscape, TECO officials emphasized that the Big Bend Plant uses the best-available pollution-control technology, which makes it one of the cleanest coal-burning power plants in the United States.
In a press release officials mentioned that the fourth chimney was built in 1999, when the scrubbers were installed, stating that since then the original chimney was used only minimally, adding that in 2008, the company removed the chimney’s steel liner, which had been affected by age.
“With no liner, the chimney made of poured reinforced concrete was no longer useful, and it has not been used since then,” said TECO spokesperson Cherie Jacobs.
The chimney will be dismantled in pieces by a specialized team. The large pieces of concrete will be removed from inside the structure. The most visible work will begin in mid-December and will continue through April.
For information, visit www.tecoenergy.com.