Commissioned in December 1993, operational since February 1994 and officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in November 1994, the facility is jointly owned by waste management company Veolia Environmental Services, who operate the plant, and CNIM DEV – a joint venture between CNIM SA, an Engineer Procure Construct contractor of energy recovery facilities who designed and constructed SELCHP, and Cube Infrastructure Fund.
The facility, which operates within strict European regulations on the control of emissions, has recently been modified to facilitate London’s first district heating network to supply energy from a waste burning process, with heat piped through a 5km underground network, providing heating and hot water to 2,500 local homes in the London Borough of Southwark.
Since its inception, SELCHP has been supplying electricity to the National Grid through its 35MW steam turbine generator, providing enough energy to power 48,000 local homes a year. Now that the district heating network has come into fruition the facility is finally operating to its full potential, as envisaged by the consortium of three London boroughs – Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark – that first came together to identify a solution to the increasing scarcity and environmental problems of landfill as far back as 1986.
Speaking about the milestone, SELCHP’s general manager, Robbie Jameson, said: “This is a momentous occasion for everybody who has been involved with this important facility over the last 20 years. The plant has undergone a lot of changes to ensure the technology used is constantly updated to be as advanced as possible. We are now in a position whereby both electricity and heat can be supplied back to the London communities whose waste our site manages.”