Aerial view of London and South East at night; Aerial view of London and South East at night;

London Thames Gateway Heat Network, London

District heating system for low-carbon, affordable heat

Over a number of years, Arup has supported the London Development Agency (LDA) in the planning and design of a large-scale district heating network in the Thames Gateway. Work is ongoing to secure planning permission and contracts for the first phase of the development.

Arup’s role has focused on energy strategy, project management, town planning, route civil engineering and environmental impact assessment.

The project demonstrates Arup’s ability to integrate technical and strategic disciplines to support project delivery.

Early scoping

Arup worked closely with the LDA and partner local authorities from an early stage to secure political support and lay the groundwork through scoping risks and requirements for the project.

This included organising a multi-agency working group and designing a network Vision Map (PDF, 3MB) which shows the heat network and other existing and planned networks across London.

Regulatory, planning and policy work

Arup also undertook an initial study examining the regulatory frameworks for heat, associated consents requirements and the policy implications for the development of the network.

The firm is now preparing the planning application for the first phase of development and, in parallel, leading the promotion of an innovative Local Development Order for decentralised energy networks. This order will grant local permitted development rights for district heating network equipment.

Technical engineering and design

Arup developed the design of the district heating pipe route, working on behalf of the LDA as sub-consultant to Poyry. Identification of a feasible route for large pipes within a dense urban area and managing the risks was a complex process.

Feasibility studies were undertaken for 14km of pipework to determine the most suitable route through below- and above-ground constraints.