Longannet demolition is symbol of Just Transition, says Prospect

13 December 2021

The demolition of the 600ft chimney stack at Longannet, which was Scotland’s tallest freestanding structure, symbolises how Scotland is at the forefront of a Just Transition to a Net Zero economy, says Prospect.

Longannet power station

The Longannet coal plant, owned by Scottish Power, was the largest of its kind in Europe when began its operations in 1970. At one point, it was providing power to a quarter of Scottish homes.

On 9 December, the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pressed the button to ignite a controlled explosion to bring down the chimney down.

The Fife site ceased operation in 2016 and Richard Hardy, Prospect’s national secretary, was heavily involved in the negotiations over the closure at the time.

“I certainly have mixed feelings on the demolition of the stack. For so long a dominating landmark for Fifers like me, it’s sad to see its end,” Hardy told The Courier.

“It also represents a workplace that provided good, high-quality jobs to many thousands of workers through its lifespan now over. Many families saw multiple generations working there.”

However, Hardy added that the closure of Longannet “represents a real transition from coal, and there is much in that transition to be happy about.”


From generation to transmission, Prospect represents the interests of over 22,000 members working across all parts of the energy sector.