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Biogas project at Thames Water sewage works complete

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A new renewable biogas-fuelled boiler at Chertsey sewage works in Surrey, UK, means the town’s waste is now being treated without the use of fossil fuels.

Thames Water, which owns and runs the site, is eliminating more than 70,000 litres of diesel every month by using biogas – a by-product of the sewage treatment process – as it looks to reach net-zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2030.

The latest project in Chertsey was completed in recent weeks at a time when renewable energy, including the phasing out of gas boilers in UK homes, has been high on the national agenda.

The £700,000 (€830,000) scheme at Chertsey is the latest in a roll-out which also covers other Thames Water sites in London and the Thames Valley. Three-quarters of the company’s boilers now run on biogas, with Thames Water aiming to convert all sites by the end of 2025.

“This exciting project has enabled us to eliminate the use of fossil fuels at our Chertsey site, which is great news for the environment as well as our customers, who we know want us to provide value for money in a sustainable way,” said Matthew Gee, Thames Water’s energy and carbon strategy and reporting manager. “The project will save us around £500,000 (€593,000) in fuel costs, allowing us to keep customer bills low.

“Running all our sludge treatment processes on biogas is an essential part of our carbon strategy, shaping the future by driving operational emissions to net zero by 2030.”

The new boiler is essential to running Chertsey’s thermal hydrolysis plant, which itself creates the renewable biogas, and was the first in the UK when it was commissioned in 1999.

The UK’s largest water supplier, which has been producing green energy at Mogden sewage works in London since the 1930s, is also aiming to protect the planet and its 15 million customers’ water supply for the future by becoming carbon negative by 2040.”