A Portland-based company will use nearly 300 pounds of dynamite to demolish a building at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, one of the largest implosion projects ever attempted in Maine.

Engineered Products of Maine, which is located on Riverside Street, says it will implode the four-story Central Heat Plant at 11 a.m. on Aug. 13. The building is 90 feet tall, but there are tree stacks, including one that measures 230 feet, that also must be brought down.

The demolition is the first step in clearing the site for industrial expansion and growth at Loring.

At the height of the Cold War, the Heat Plant provided heat and hot water to more than 10,000 officers, airmen and civilians. The base closed in 1994.

“This is the company’s biggest demolition project, and I believe the biggest implosion ever in the state of Maine,” Steve Milley, founder, president and owner of Engineered Products, said in a news release. “We’ve been involved with several similar projects in Maine and along the East Coast but nothing of this magnitude. The entire company is excited and looking forward to the event.”

In September 2004, the concrete reactor dome that once capped Maine Yankee’s nuclear reactor in Wiscasset was imploded as more than 200 spectators looked on. Maine Yankee stopped producing power in 1996.

Workers drilled 365 holes in the building’s columns and inserted 1,100 pounds of dynamite sticks.

On Friday, Sept. 18, the reactor lit up and crackled like fireworks before explosions dropped the 150-foot-tall structure to the ground with a thunderous boom that sent a plume of smoke and dust skyward.

The 20 million-pound structure collapsed in less than two seconds.

Engineered Products is hoping for a similarly dazzling and effective display on Aug. 13.

Company spokeswoman Jennifer M. Gregor said the firm has spent the last six weeks preparing for the implosion.

Steel beams had to be cut so that workers could place dynamite charges at the angles needed to make the building collapse into a designated area. The public will be welcome, but viewing will be restricted to an area about 1,200 feet from the demolition zone.

Gregor said Engineered Products, which was established in 1975, is a demolition and concrete cutting company that specializes in commercial and industrial demolition.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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