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The Gallery and Video | First new Battersea Power Station chimney takes shape

The first of four new chimneys at Battersea Power Station is now visible.

The replacement for the South West chimney, which has been dismantled and is being recreated to look identical but with more modern steel reinforcement, is visible.

For each chimney approximately 600t of concrete will be removed and a similar volume used in the rebuild.

The old chimneys are being progressively dismantled from the top downwards, with a working rig descended, and the debris evacuated down a funnel inside the chimney.

A new jump form rig is then assembled at the base of the chimney, to construct the new concrete and reinforcement in stages.

The process has been devised by consultant Buro Happold, which has been working to the same methods to the original chimney build in the 1930s to ensure the new chimneys are rebuilt to be visually identical to the originals.

Once the south-west chimney is half built, work will start on dismantling the other three chimneys. It will take about six months to completely rebuild each one to its former height of 101m.

Buro Happold Engineering project principal Justin Phillips said: “The rebuilt chimney will be visibly identical but the pattern of the steel reinforcement and the composition of the concrete has been improved to make the new chimneys less vulnerable to corrosion.”

Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell added: “This is one of the most exciting milestones in the Battersea Power Station development’s history to date. Cleaning cradles will be installed in the chimneys and be used by painters to apply the final paint finish. Paint scrapings have been taken from the original chimneys to ensure the exact colour match.

The chimney replacement programme will complete in 2016.

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