Gasification plant to join planned sustainable business park on the Estuary

by Michael Smith

A high-tech energy-from-waste plant is the latest facility to join the line up of business planned for an “eco-business park” designed to showcase sustainable industries on the Thames Estuary.

Waste management firm Cyclamax will build a gasification plant on the London Sustainable Industries Park, part of the ongoing Thames Gateway developed on the eastern outskirts of the city.

When operating at full capacity the plant will transform 100,000 tonnes of waste into 15 megawatts of energy – enough to power 20,000 homes.

It will divert commercial waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill, including non-recyclable waste from offices, restaurants and retailers.

The government-backed regeneration agency London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) is trying to create the UK's largest concentration of environmental industries and technologies at the SIP in Dagenham.

Environmental technology businesses are expected to be worth £45bn to the UK economy by 2016 and the Dagenham industrial estate aims to provide a model for others to follow.

Mark Bradbury, deputy director of development at LTGDC, said: "The London Sustainable Industries Park represents a major opportunity for London's environmental technology businesses.

"It provides access to Europe's largest urban area and has an unrivalled source of raw materials and a multi-billion pound marketplace on the doorstep."

John Williams, chief executive at Gateway to London, said: "Cyclamax's plans are proof of London Thames Gateway's position as the number one location for businesses working in environmental technologies and we are seeing huge interest from companies who want to join the region's burgeoning market.

"The London Sustainable Industries Park is the core element of this proposition and working with LTGDC we look forward to building on the Cyclamax success and securing even more investment into this prime location."

If, in addition to this, we now could also get some methane plants stuck onto sewage works and such this would really be nice and really sustainable. Presently we are wasting million of cubic meters of methane gas from sewage works on a daily basis in that we simply flare it off, much like the gas being flared off in the oilfields.

Our landfills too are full to bursting with methane gas and in many locations this gas is just simply, so it would appear, vented to the atmosphere. Not very good for more than one reason. Methane from sewage plants was the gas that was used to fire the first electric power station(s) in the USA until such a time that fossil fuels and especially coal and petroleum became too cheap and the oil magnates bullied the plats to use oil instead.

Let's face it: methane is created by all of us on a rather regular basis and each property, each house, could have, theoretically, have its own methane digester and its own gas productions and a CHP for heating and powering the place.

Not rocket science and has been done many times before. The only thing that is keeping us from it is vested interests.

© M Smith (Veshengro), 2009