An urban exploration of Inverkip Power Station

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 18.08.2009

SSEB ~ Inverkip,

Author – Martino

Inverkip power station is Scotland’s first oil-fired power station. It’s huge chimney (236 m) is the tallest structure in Scotland and the third tallest in the UK. Construction started in 1970 and in 1979 it was completed. However, by the time it was finished an oil-fired powerstation was not thought to be economical anymore. This was a result of the 1973 oil-crisis. Therefore the station was never used at full capacity (1200 MW). The only short period of time Inverkip power station was used was during the miners’ strike of 1984/85.

Demolition is scheduled for 2009 to make room for apartments and small businesses.

70’s style control room

70’s style control room

The main desk in the middle with three phones on each side

The main desk in the middle with three phones on each side

It’s 06.00 o’clock Saturday morning and we meet up with Mr Cuban Bloodhound & G at a small parking lot almost next to the power station. It’s raining and still dark outside. We talk about nothing, but we talk. Stewart is busy with a heavy hangover and I’m just not awake yet.

We start walking along the road and a little further we head into the bushes. It had been raining all night and it’s freezing cold. I’m sinking away in the muddy wet ground. The freezing wet mud is creeping through the holes in my shoes. Why did I only take my old sneakers with holes to a place like this?

The rotor, hydrogen coolers and exiciter are removed, this one can’t be fired up

The rotor, hydrogen coolers and exciter are removed, this one can’t be fired up

8 minute exposure which revealed a lot more than i could see then

8 minute exposure which revealed a lot more than i could see then

We’re searching for a hole in the fence. All the holes haves recently been closed by security and the only opening we find in the 5 ft tall, barb wired fence, is a small whole just above head-height. It’s not like we have a choice. One at a time we pull ourselves up by our hands, high enough to put our legs through the hole and drop on the ground at the other side.

We’ re all past the fence and are hiding in the bushes. S informs us about what comes next. We have to run across wide open terrain and we have to hurry. It’s getting light and we need the cover of darkness to avoid being spotted by the security camera’s. We run half a mile or so and hurry up the steel stairs on the outside as quietly as we possibly can be. We climb up, down and up again. This is the point we’re as good as safe from security, if they had spotted us on the camera’s they would’ve been here by now. Then the bottle of coca cola we took with us drops down through the steel structure making a lot of noise. Security is only just up the road. We hold our breaths and with our hearts beating in our throats we listen for any sound coming from the security booth. Nothing.

We balance ourselves over a small steel beam towards a boarded up whole. S removes the plate and now we’re actually inside the power station.

Pipes going in every direction

Pipes going in every direction

Leak Detection Control

Leak Detection Control

S takes us straight up to the huge and impressive 70’s style control room. It’s pitch black inside until he switches the lights on and turns on the heater. He tells us to enjoy ourselves and that he still suffers the hangover from last night, so he’s gonna get some sleep and we’ll meet back here for lunch……

15 minute exposure ~ stargate

15 minute exposure ~ stargate

Overview of the main hall, in the crane you can see Cuban’s feet up in the air while he’s taking a rest

Overview of the main hall, in the crane you can see Cuban’s feet up in the air while he’s taking a rest

We waited for darkness to set in, before we got out. Meaning we explored this science-fiction like place for 13 hours, living on 6 small, very dry sandwiches, a few chewing gums and no cola. We got out the same way we got in and at 1900 hours we walk back to our cars. We need food, drinks and some serious relaxing.

Mr Cuban Bloodhound, thank you very very much for showing us around this awesome place!

Thank you G for the good company! (especially when S was sleeping 😉 hehehe)

When : March 2009

With: Bart, Mr Cuban Bloodhound & G


#1Jeroen_HDAugust 18, 2009, 11:25 am

Wow, if I ever go to Scotland, I’ll visit this place for sure!

#2manof2worldsAugust 18, 2009, 12:01 pm

Like wow? The whole thing sounds totally awesome.

#3Andre GoviaAugust 19, 2009, 11:00 am

cool looking place,it looks like its very large

#4sophos9August 19, 2009, 11:29 am

Totally agreed, what an awesome mission! If I was there, I would want to make power – “now where is the ON switch…?”

#5WinchAugust 19, 2009, 11:07 pm

Nice one, I loved this place. Felt really naughty too.

#6MartinoAugust 20, 2009, 6:31 am

Thanks y’all, this was the biggest plant i’ve seen so far.

@ Winch: naughty….yes!!

#7Frits VrielinkAugust 20, 2009, 5:33 pm

Great story Martino!

The B/W treatment looks great with this set!

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