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UK’s largest district heating project given £12.1m funding

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Cory has been awarded £12.1 million (€14 million) through the UK Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) for a major district heating project.

The £1.6 million (€1.86 million) commercialisation grant and £10.5 million (€12.2 million) construction loan will support the development of one of the UK’s largest heat networks, delivered by Vattenfall, to supply low-carbon heat to 21,000 homes.

Cory’s existing Riverside energy from waste (EfW) facility will provide heat for up to 10,500 homes in Bexley in the first phase of the proposed network. A second EfW facility, adjacent to the existing one and part of Cory’s Riverside Energy Park, will supply an additional 10,500 homes.

Lord Callanan, Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility, said: “Changing how we heat our homes is a vital part of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050.

“This ground-breaking project will not only establish one of the UK’s largest heat networks but will help accelerate the roll-out of cutting-edge low-carbon technologies.”

Cory will work with Vattenfall to deliver the project, a collaboration that will also support Vattenfall’s wider vision to deliver low-carbon heating to 75,000 homes across the Thames Estuary over the next decade.

The wider heat network will draw on secondary heat sources, such as heat as a by-product of commercial or industrial activities, or heat from the environment.

“The funding and support from the HNIP team, the energy team at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and within Triple Point has been outstanding,” said Mike Reynolds, managing director at Vattenfall Heat UK.

“Through our exciting collaboration with Cory, the HNIP funding will be a key enabler in unlocking low-carbon, low-cost heat for 75,000 London homes over the next 10 years.”

Cory currently uses the River Thames to transport waste from central London to its EfW facility on its fleet of tugs and barges, removing around 100,000 truck journeys a year from its congested roads.

The completion of the Riverside Energy Park, which will be fully operational by 2025, will remove additional truck journeys, further reducing the city’s reliance on landfill and delivering environmental and safety benefits.

Dougie Sutherland, CEO at Cory, added: “We are delighted that BEIS is supporting the development of one of the UK’s largest heat networks. This is a very major step towards net-zero, providing low-carbon heat for thousands of homes and businesses in Bexley and its surrounding Boroughs.”