Duffryn sustainable heat network back on stream

Image credit: (c) Huw John

The partners behind a project to upgrade a district heating network in Wales have marked its completion by opening the main valve.

That may not sound like much, but representatives of Newport City Homes, and Vital Energi, made the most of the occasion. It also brought on stream sustainable energy for over 1,000 customers, and the end of one the largest heat network upgrades in the UK.

The Duffryn Heat Network Replacement Project saw Vital Energi replace 7.5km of district heating pipework. The original installation was nearing the end of its life, but the work is expected to deliver sustainable heating and hot water for decades.

The project received £3.7m towards the cost of replacing the pipework from the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES).

Last week, Owain Roberts, director of property and place at Newport City Homes, and Dave Hutchinson, operations director at Vital Energi, opened the valve and declared the network back in operation.

Sonia Furzland, executive director of operations for Newport City Homes said: “The Duffryn District Heat Network Replacement Project has been a vast undertaking, and we’re grateful for the patience and support shown to our colleagues by Duffryn residents throughout the duration of these works.

Duffryn Energy Centre is a central part of the Duffryn community. The new pipework secures the future of the Energy Centre and will continue to deliver sustainable heating and hot water to our customers for decades to come.”

The Duffryn estate was constructed in the 1970s, with the Energy Centre installed at the same time. In 2015, construction began on the innovative 2.5MW biomass boiler, which uses locally sourced wood chip to deliver low-carbon heat to residents.

Ashley Walsh, managing director for Vital Energi, said: “This network has a core part in people’s day to day lives so we’re extremely happy to have been involved in upgrading it, making it more efficient, reliable and bringing it into the 21st century.

“New products and techniques are now far superior to the technology around when the network was first established, so not only will this heat network last longer, it will also lose less heat and deliver better value for money for its customers.”

Main image: Dave Hutchinson, operations director at Vital Energi, with Owain Roberts, director of property and place at Newport City Homes. Image credit: © Huw John

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