Fuel oil tanks at Morro Bay power plant to be removed

Removal of six decommissioned fuel oil tanks at the Morro Bay power plant is scheduled to begin Thursday.

The project was initially scheduled to begin in May but had to be postponed to protect seabirds nesting on and around the tanks. Work is expected to take 30 to 45 days to complete.

Silverado Contractors has been hired to dismantle the 32-foot-tall tanks. The resulting scrap metal will be recycled.

The tanks were installed in the late 1970s and were used to store fuel oil for the power plant. However, the plant was reconfigured in 1995 to burn only natural gas, and the tanks were no longer needed.

The tanks were decommissioned in 2003 by cleaning them to remove the oil and by removing piping and insulation.