Rambol Whitbybird to work on 'continental' style scheme to save 96,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Barking Reach Power Station will be converted to provide hot water for 150,000 homes from waste energy by 2001, the London Development Agency has said.

It will be the UK’s first district heating power plant mimicking conversions on mainland Europe. Energy consultancy, Ramboll Whitbybird, which will work with the LDA on the project, recently completed a similar project in Copenhagen. All new power stations in Denmark have been required to produce hot water for homes since the 1980s and 60% of the country's homes get their hot water this way. The first homes to benefit would be new developments in Barking Riverside, the Royal Docks and Havering Riverside and Barking town centre.

The gas-fired power station, which was built between 1992 and 1995, supplies 2% of the UK’s energy. It currently loses 400MW of heat. The LDA claims that an imminent expansion of the plant would provide 30,000 additional homes with hot water.

The project is a partnership between local authorities, the LDA, Barking Power, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Communities and Local Government (CLG) The LDA claims that the scheme could save 96,000 tonnes of C02 annually.