YOUR WASTE TO HEAT CITY IN £26M PLAN

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - MATT DISCOMBE Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter matt.discombe@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

STEAM FROM THE CARDIFF BAY IN­CIN­ER­A­TOR WILL BE PIPED INTO PUB­LIC BUILD­INGS ACROSS THE CAP­I­TAL

HEAT from the Cardiff Bay in­cin­er­a­tor will be piped into pub­lic build­ings across the city as part of a pro­posed £26.2m scheme.

En­ergy from burn­ing non-re­cy­clable waste at the Tri­dent Park En­ergy Re­cov­ery Fa­cil­ity would be trans­ported through a net­work of un­der­ground pipes to pro­vide heat to pub­lic and com­mer­cial build­ings across Cardiff.

Build­ings con­nected to the net­work would no longer have to use gas to heat their prop­er­ties – re­duc­ing en­ergy bills and Cardiff ’s car­bon emis­sions.

Cardiff Coun­cil’s cabi­net will meet on Thurs­day to re­view the plans, which would re­quire £4m of coun­cil bor­row­ing, with the rest of the money com­ing from the UK and Welsh gov­ern­ments and the pri­vate sec­tor.

The cabi­net will be asked to sign off a busi­ness case for the heat net­work, be­gin ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing and to try to find a com­pany to op­er­ate the pro­ject.

Coun­cil­lor Michael Michael, Cardiff Coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for clean streets and the en­vi­ron­ment, said: “This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for Cardiff to de­velop new low-car­bon en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture, fu­elled by ex­ist­ing as­sets and fa­cil­i­ties in the city.

“Analysis that has been car­ried out shows the scheme has the op­por­tu­nity to save 5,600 tonnes of car­bon each year, with an as­sump­tion of a 5% sav­ing on en­ergy costs for the build­ings that con­nect to the net­work.

“How­ever, these schemes are re­liant on a num­ber of fac­tors to make them vi­able. Firstly, ex­ter­nal fund­ing is re­quired and we are work­ing with both cen­tral and Welsh gov­ern­ment to help us put the cor­rect fund­ing in place. Se­condly, long-term con­tracts have to be se­cured to use the heat from the net­work and this will be es­sen­tial for the scheme to progress.”

Cardiff Heat Net­work would be­gin from the Viri­dor-op­er­ated waste plant in Cardiff Bay, then run through large parts of the Bay be­fore cross­ing the main rail­way line, skirt­ing the south­ern edge of the city cen­tre and end in the western parts of New­port Road.

Low-pres­sure steam from the plant would be used to heat water to a tem­per­a­ture of around 90C, which would then cir­cu­late around the net­work.

Les­ley Grif­fiths, Welsh Gov­ern­ment cabi­net sec­re­tary for en­ergy, plan­ning and ru­ral af­fairs, said: “De-car­bon­is­ing heat is a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge in de­liv­er­ing a low-car­bon econ­omy for Wales.

“We are sup­port­ing a range of ini­tia­tives and have pro­vided sig­nif­i­cant as­sis­tance to Cardiff Coun­cil to de­velop the pro­ject to this stage. We will con­tinue to work in part­ner­ship with Cardiff Coun­cil with the am­bi­tion of mak­ing the pro­ject a re­al­ity.”

The net­work would most likely be owned by an in­de­pen­dent com­pany, but the coun­cil would be a ma­jor share­holder.

Chris Jonas, Viri­dor’s man­ag­ing direc­tor of ma­jor con­tracts, said: “Viri­dor’s view is that all waste should be given a pur­pose and val­ued as a re­source rather than rub­bish. It should be put to work for Welsh busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties.

“For Welsh res­i­dents and the busi­ness sec­tor to see this con­cept be­ing put into prac­tice in Cardiff is a goal which is well worth pur­su­ing.”

RICHARD SWINGLER

The Viri­dor en­ergy re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity in Cardiff Bay

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