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A deal, worth more than £200 million over 20 years, has been made to use cooking waste and fats from thousands of London restaurants and food companies to create energy that will be used to power major sewage works and a desalination plant, has warranted the construction of a £70 million power plant at Beckton, east London. The plant is expected to be operational by 2015.
As well as using oils and fats from restaurants, fats, grease, and oil, which clogs the sewers, will also be extracted and used as a fuel for the plant. Cleaning the drains and sewer system of the 40,000, or so, fat-related blockages a year currently cost around £1 million a month, but now the energy produced from the fats can be sold to the national grid and contribute to those costs.
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Approximately 30 tonnes a day will be collected from waste cooking supplies, fat traps in kitchens, and pinchpoints in sewers, and taken to the plant.
Thames water has already agreed to buy 75GWH of the energy produced by the plant in order to run the nearby Beckton sewage works and desalination plant. Piers Clark, the commercial director of Thames Water has said that “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.”
The plant, the largest in the world, will produce 130GWh a year of renewable energy enough to power nearly 40,000 homes
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com