London wastewater treatment plant to be powered by FOG “fatbergs”

Thames Water has signed a 20-year agreement with 20C to take power from a new facility that will produce 130 Gigawatt hours a year from fats, oils and grease..

Utility Thames Water has signed a 20-year agreement with 20C to take power from a new facility that will produce 130 Gigawatt hours (GWh) a year from fats, oils and grease (FOG).

The £200 million contract will see Thames Water providing 30 tonnes a day of fuel in the form of FOG to a new facility that will use 20C’s combined heat and intelligence power technology.

Every year the utility removes 80,000 blockages in its 109,000km of sewers, half of which are caused by fat wrongly poured down drains. Clearing these blockages costs the firm £1 million a month.

Other fuel sources include oil wastes from food manufacturers, processors and tallow (animal fats).

Thames Water has agreed to buy 75 GWh from the plant to run its Beckton wastewater treatment plant and the nearby desalination plant (read WWi article).

Piers Clark, commercial director for Thames Water, said: “This project is a win-win: renewable power, hedged from the price fluctuations of the non-renewable mainstream power markets, and helping tackle the ongoing operational problem of ‘fatbergs’ in sewers.”

London-based J Murphy and Sons have won the contract to build the plant, which is due to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.

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