Leading UK biomethane player SGN Commercial Services (SGN) could help the UK wastewater sector generate enough biogas to heat over 360,000 homes per year after it was awarded a position on an eight-year framework contract at Thames Water’s wastewater treatment facilities.

The contract, worth approximately £70m, will involve SGN taking care of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of biogas processing installations at the treatment facilities.

As the Government aim to meet its net zero emission targets by 2030, gas-to-grid technology is expected to overtake the commonly used combined heat and power (CHP) engines to generate power for anaerobic digestion facilities.

In preparation for CHIPs reaching the end of their lives and Renewal Obligation Certificates (ROC) subsidies declining, Thames Water is planning to increase gas-to-grid installations after completing its first project in 2010 at its Didcot facility.

SGN boasts a portfolio of various biogas related projects and has worked on around 30 new plant installations. The company intends to increase its biomethane injection into the grid which will see an increase in deliverance of renewable energy from approximately 200,000 to 450,000 homes.

Commenting on the project, Marcus Hunt, Director of Commercial Services and Investments, SGN, said, “We want to continue to be at the forefront of providing heat to UK homes and businesses and recognise the renewable energy investments required to ensure the sustainability of our gas network and supporting decarbonisation goals.

He added that the company is delighted to be collaborating with Thames Water on the framework.

More than 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be offset from entering the atmosphere each year with the company’s initial project with Thames Water at Deephams sewage treatment site in London.

Expected for completion by March 2022, the implementation phase will involve biogas injection into the local gas pipeline infrastructure.

Francis Paonessa, Capital Delivery Director, Thames Water, spoke about the opportunity to give back to the local communities, saying, “Installing this new technology means we can give back to our local communities by using the leftover gas from our sewage treatment process to heat local homes with renewable energy.”

Thames Water aims to be a carbon negative business by 2040 with its first milestone being net zero by 2030.

The collaborative effort between the two companies will see the first £7.3m project at Deephams producing six million cubic metres of methane per year, enough to heat 3,500 homes in Enfield.