The Rugeley power stations were a series of two coal-fired power stations located on the River Trent at Rugeley in Staffordshire. Construction of the first power station at the site, Rugeley ‘A’ station started in 1956 and station’s generating sets were commissioned between 1961 and 1962.
The ‘A’ station took coal directly from the neighbouring Lea Hall Colliery by conveyor belt. The colliery was put into production some 6 months before the first generating unit was commissioned in the power station. This was the first joint venture between the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and the National Coal Board (NCB). The Lea Hall colliery was closed on 24 January 1991, meaning all coal burned in the stations needed to be delivered by rail.
Construction of Rugeley ‘B’ power station began in 1965, with completion of the station in 1972. It had an output of 1,000 megawatts (MW) and had a 400 kilovolt (kV) connection to the national grid. With both stations in operation, 850 people were employed at the stations in 1983.
The two stations were initially operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board, but following privatisation in 1990, were handed over to National Power. In July 1996 the Rugeley B power station was bought by Eastern Generation, itself acquired by TXU Europe. Rugeley B was subsequently sold to International Power plc in July 2001. It remains under the same ownership, though International Power later merged with GDF Suez in 2011.
Construction of a Flue Gas Desulfurization plant started in early 2007 and it was commissioned at the B station in 2009. This allowed the station to comply with environmental legislation in force at the time and continue generating electricity.
In February 2016 it was announced that the power station would close in the summer of 2016. An announcement by owners, Engie blamed a deterioration in market conditions which included a fall in market prices and increasing carbon costs. Rugeley Power Station ceased all operations on Wednesday 8 June 2016. Decommissioning began in June 2016. All buildings and structures on site are due for demolition lasting until around summer 2019.
Buildings and Plant Detail
Rugeley B had 2 x 500MW turbine-generator sets manufactured by Parsons
Boiler House and Coal Processing
The boiler house contains the two coal-fired boilers fed from the coal plant
The control room at Rugeley B had been refitted with APMS
The admin block, workshops, canteen and bathhouse
Rugeley B Image Gallery
Visit the plant detail pages above to view more images from each area of the power plant
13 thoughts on “Rugeley B Power Station, Staffordshire”
I worked at Rugeley A power station in 1963 for 3 years (approx ) in the instrument department under Ray Berridge
later to Ferry bridge power station I remember well Dave Burghwin the great person.
Don’t forget the 50MW of gas turbines (2x25MW) at Rugeley B. Mainly for black starts/emergency back-up/peak load.
Hi Ken, thanks for the comment. The gas turbines have a small section on the Turbine page (scroll down near the bottom)
I worked there from 79 to 95,best job?family a man could ask for for working.Some of our countries greatest minds worked in this industry.
I spent a lot of time in the 1980s at A and B stations as a metallurgist from the scientific services department based at Ratcliffe on Soar. I used to relish time spent with the maintenance teams and the station chemists, as well as some difficult one on one conversations with the station managers. My concept of an “interesting” corrosion problem was mercilessly trodden on by their urgent need to get back on the grid! There was huge pride in working for the CEGB.
my grandad worked their for many years dennis rollins sadly passed away some years back
I worked at both A and B stations as an electrical fitter and supervisor I early retirement in 94 stil miss the crack and rivalry between the maintenance departments.
Did about 3 outages there. Had a caravan on a little park just outside the main gate. Found a better spot in the corner of a pub car park, outside the gate by the golf course the landlord was happy with a rigger spending in there every day lol.
We were all on the roof when A station boiler house came down and the town lost the TV signal.
Shame coal is dead. Straight from Lee Hall into the mills, what’s not to like?
Anyway, highly skilled well paid jobs to working in Amazon while the Chinese build coal plants and export goods to Amazon for ex-skilled men to put in boxes.
Not my idea of progress.
The gas turbine units at Rugeley B were not Rolls Royce Olympus but each unit had 2 Rolls Royce Avon 300 series engines. I worked on Avon engines in the RAF in Hawker Hunters and they are quite different from Olympus. The gas turbine units were one of the reasons I wanted to work at Rugeley B.
Thank you, the page has been updated accordingly.
i would always look at these huge towers as a child on the pear tree est amazed by their massive size
I have great memories of the open day back in the late 1980s.
We would come home laden with carrier bags full of key rings, stickers and furry bug toys.
That weekend was more educational than 5 years at comprehensive school learning what to do with a decimal point and watching teachers have affairs with each other that they thought no one knew about.
Would have loved to have worked there.
Now the remains are in the process of demolition I wonder where all the stations structure and inside frame will end up.
Must be worth a fortune in scrap alone…
I wonder if they would sell me a piece of it?
I remember a tour with a student engineering group from the nearby Staffs Poly – early 90s. It all seemed so modern then. Also remember a visit to the famous garden in Sutton Coldfield that featured a scale model of the plant complete with fibreglass cooling towers, and hornby scale working coal trains!