Moneypoint Power From Coal, 1985

Documentary detailing the construction and engineering milestones of Moneypoint Generation Station, Co. Clare, ESB’s first major coal burning generating station.

Opening scenes depict the planning stage of the station with scenes of ESB staff in drawing office and aerial views of site before construction begins. Rationale for the first major coal burning generation station was born out of the international oil crisis and the adundantly available fuel resource of coal from different areas of the world.

Shows scenes of the beginnings of the construction with excavation of 3 million cubic meters of rock and blasting footage of hard rock areas.

Provides technical and engineering details including scenes of scaffolding and shuttering, use of 14 vehicles for the pouring of concrete, over 20,000 pieces of steelwork fabricated in Ireland.

Shows footage of the 700 feet high chimneys, laying of fibre brick lining inside the chmineys and celebratory scenes of workers hoisting an Ireland flag when the chimney is completed.

Shows construction of Moneypoint jetty designed to cater for safe berthing of 250,000 tonne ships and notes the port records a water depth of 80 feet beside the shoreline.

Shows manufacture in Killarney of main travelling cranes for turbine hall. Shows assembly of first coal unloader (also manufactured in Killarney) and notes the coal unloaders are designed to operate safely in winds up to storm force 10.

Notes boiler house insulated with double clad to avoid noise emission, shows installation of drum boiler. Boilers manufactured in USA and delivered in specially constructed ships and shows footage of the ship arriving.

Shows footage of huge prefabricated boiler tubes hosted into position, images of welding  and footage of inside the coal burners.

Notes that 60% of the total cost of the project was spent in Ireland. The steam turbines were manufactured in Switzerland and shows ESB engineers monitoring and testing the manufacture of these in the factory in Switzerland. Scenes of the transport of 300 MW generators from Switzerland by sea arriving at Moneypoint via Limerick Docks and notes the generators were one of the heaviest pieces of equipment to be transported in Ireland

Shows footage of regular progress meetings of ESB engineers and project team in Moneypoint and ESB’s Head Office.

Shows footage of the 1500 workforce and notes the project utilised the latest technologies and was designed and built by ESB engineers. Shows scenes of staff in canteen.

Shows installation of coal unloader and coal conveyor noting that all the steelwork was manufactured in Ireland.

Includes footage of the installation of generator for second unit and shows the official celebrations along with US partners following the installation of the rotors.

Explains the wiring and electrical installations of the stations with exterior shots of the powerlines. An animation explains the two separate distribution lines from the station to Dunstown, Co. Kildare and Woodland, Co. Meath and includes scenes of the load center at Woodland.

Footage records the momentous date of the 24th April 1985, when the first ship, Berger Master  arrives with a 150,000 tonnes cargo of coal from South America, the largest ship ever to enter the Shannon Estuary.

Footage of the coal yard and water treatment plant noting that the coal store can hold over 2 million tonnes of coal annually.

Shows scenes of automatic monitoring systems in the Burren, Co. Clare and relates the environmental analysis work of 11 other monitoring systems in the vicinity of the station with laboratory scenes and analysis of fuel and water.

Concludes with animation of Moneypoint, final testing from the control room and aerial footage of the completed station noting that throughout the project ESB has contributed £450million into the Irish economy and scenes of the National Control Centre in Dublin.

Duration: 34:31

Technical adviser and commentary script: Peter H. O’Connor
Animation: Gunther Wulff
Sound recording: Alan Rontree
Editor: Merritt Butler
Narration: Eamonn Andrews
Photographed and produced by George Fleischmann
Special thanks to staff of ESB and Brown Boveri.