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Dame Margaret Hodge MP visits Beckton Sewage Treatment Works

Tuesday 20th June 2023 09:00

Dame Margaret Hodge MP with representatives from her office and Thames Water

Dame Margaret Hodge MP with representatives from her office and Thames Water

  • The visit explored the potential benefits of converting sewage sludge to biomethane which can be used to sell gas to grid and could provide heat to around 3500 local homes. 
  • Thames Water has published a roadmap to achieving net zero carbon emissions across all operations by 2030.  

Dame Margaret Hodge MP has welcomed Thames Water’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and to unlocking the benefits of energy conversion for the local area following a recent tour of Beckton sewage treatment works (STW) on Friday 9 June. 

The visit to the Beckton site, which serves over four million people, demonstrated sewage sludge being converted into biomethane and highlighted how it could be used as a source of energy to heat nearby homes.  

This potential energy source aligns with the aims of the Governments Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS). 

Dame Margaret Hodge MP said: “It seems clear that both Thames Water and the Government need to find the resources to retrofit this massive site so that it can contribute properly to the climate challenge we are all facing.” 

Stephanie Baker, Interim Head of Energy and Net Zero said: “The water sector has a significant role to play in the future of renewable energy and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefits of producing and investing in biomethane conversion.   

“Our research shows our customers agree with this use of resources, as it will contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions emitted by the company and help them reduce their carbon footprint too.   

“This is as a key pillar of our operational net zero strategy, and it will contribute to the government’s Net Zero Agenda and deliver a domestic source of renewable green gas for our customers.” 

The GGSS was launched to provide financial investment for new biomethane conversion plants, with the incentive to increase the proportion of green gas in the gas grid.  

Although the GGSS does not currently include the water sector as eligible for investment, Thames Water have been campaigning and liaising with the Government on the possibility on widening the scheme to include the water industry. 

If revised, Beckton STW would lead the way for 25 additional Thames Water sites to be eligible for support on this scheme. At a local level this means sewage sludge, which comes from treated wastewater, could be converted and used to provide heat to approximately 3500 homes in the area around Beckton STW and thousands more across the region. 

Thames Water currently collects 4.6 billion litres of wastewater daily from 15 million customers and predicts there will be a growing demand for biomethane, resulting in high use and a cost-effective way of using energy. 

Thames Water has committed to leading the future of energy transition by transforming the way it creates and uses power to become carbon neutral by 2030, having cut emissions by almost 70 per cent since 1990. It aims to be carbon negative by 2040. 

More information on Thames Water’s Net Zero pathway can be found here.