The Gustav Knepper power plant in Dortmund-Mengede, Germany, was leveled by two controlled explosions on February 17. The facility had been closed for five years.

The plant’s boiler house was brought down first. A 210-meter chimney and 128-meter cooling tower were leveled in a second blast, about 45 minutes after the first. The German YouTube channel posted video of the explosions.

German energy company E.ON had operated the plant, which closed in 2014 due to falling wholesale power market prices and expiring supply contracts with major customers. The facility had operated since the 1950s.

Germany is seeking to move toward renewable energy sources as part of its Energiewende, or energy transition program, which received government support in 2011. The country is trying to phase out coal-fired power, and the last operating coal mine in the country closed late last year.



Reports said about 120 residents in the vicinity of the plant were evacuated prior to the explosions. The Bild newspaper said the explosions left about 28,400 tonnes of steel and other debris. It called the demolition effort the country’s “biggest bang of the year.”

An industrial complex is planned for the site of the coal plant. A spokeswoman for the demolition company told the dpa news agency the demolition had run “as planned and without complications.”

Water cannons were used to reduce dust produced by the explosions.