Scotland's Energy Minister launches District Heating Plan at 2014 Commonwealth Games


Community Heating helps Glasgow's Athletes' Village win Top Housing Award


Vital Energi wins contract to help create new sustainable Center Parcs


No ifs, No T-butts…introducing the Composite Steam Boiler...


Boiler Operation Accreditation courses in Qatar


Scotland's Energy Minister launches District Heating Plan at 2014 Commonwealth Games

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, launched the Scottish Government’s District Heating Action Plan in May while visiting the CHP energy centre at the new Athletes’ Village for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Athletes’ Village includes a new district heating network designed and built by Vital Energi on behalf of developers City Legacy Consortium. The £10 million system is the largest district heating network ever installed for a new build development and is nearly double the size of the network installed at the Olympic Village in London.

It was installed, commissioned, tested and operational a year in advance of the games and will provide heat and hot water to the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the 704-home Athletes’ Village, a 120 bed care home and to an additional 750 new homes that will be built after the Commonwealth Games finish as part of the Legacy phase of this significant construction project.

The Scottish Government’s District Heating Action Plan sets a clear roadmap for how it will support the growth of district heating networks throughout Scotland to help reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.

The plan was devised by an expert commission which included Howard Roche of Vital Energi. It proposes the creation of a Heat Network Partnership that will help to develop a project investment pipeline to secure support from the Green Investment Bank Renewable Energy Investment Fund, and to identify funding opportunities from European and UK funding sources, such as the European Regional Development Fund.

It also includes a Call for Evidence on the investment needed in heat networks over the next few years. In particular, to address the barriers to creating large-scale integrated heat networks.

Fergus Ewing said: "District heating is an important means of achieving both carbon emission and fuel poverty targets as well as contributing to the development of a low-carbon economy and local economic regeneration.

"Working with our partners, district heating will help to deliver our overall vision of a largely decarbonised heat sector by 2050, with significant progress by 2030. The switch to district heating is already helping take thousands of households in places like Glasgow and Aberdeen out of fuel poverty.

"We are already seeing the benefits at the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village where a £10 million district heating energy system will provide heating and hot water through underground pipes."

Ian Whitelock, joint managing director of Vital Energi, commented: "We are delighted the Scottish Government chose the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village for the launch of its District Heating Action Plan.

"We are very proud of our work on this scheme which has recently been named Best Green Initiative at the Homes for Scotland Awards. This success is largely attributed to our district heating system which will reduce carbon emissions by 35 per cent and is expected to result in energy bills around 40 per cent lower than any other power methods.

"The Scottish Government’s new District Heating Action Plan shows its commitment to implementing district heating in major urban areas and we welcome the opportunity to help it achieve its goal."


Community Heating helps Glasgow's Athletes' Village win Top Housing Award


Vital Energi’s bespoke low carbon community heating system has helped the Athletes’ Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow win the award for Best Green Initiative at the prestigious Homes for Scotland Awards 2013.

The awards celebrate the success of the home building industry across a range of issues which remain key to the sectors ongoing drive towards recovery. Accolades were given to stand-out submissions which showcased new and innovative approaches to the low carbon and environmental agendas, housing delivery, partnership working and customer awareness.

The Athletes’ Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is being delivered by the City Legacy Consortium which is made up of house building companies Mactaggart and Mickel, CCG, Cruden and WH Malcolm.

Around 6500 athletes and officials will stay in the Athletes’ Village during the games which have been billed as the ‘greenest games ever’.

The new homes are being built to achieve "eco homes excellent" standard and deliver a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. The addition of Vital Energi’s low carbon community heating system should increase the level of carbon reduction to 95 per cent.

The £10 million community heating system is the largest district heating network ever installed for a new build development and is nearly double the size of the network installed at the Olympic Village in London.

It will provide heat and hot water to the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the 704-home Athletes’ Village, a 120 bed care home and to an additional 750 new homes that will be built after the Commonwealth Games finish as part of the Legacy phase of this significant construction project.

Vital Energi has recently been awarded a new £1.3 million contract to install an additional CHP engine in the energy centre to provide extra capacity during the games and for the Legacy phase.

Ian Whitelock, joint managing director of Vital Energi, commented: "We are delighted to have contributed to the success of this significant construction project and to have been trusted with the expansion of the energy centre to accommodate additional development.

"Vital Energi is very proud to be assisting Glasgow with its ambitions to become one of Europe’s most sustainable cities and leave a lasting games legacy for future generations."


Vital Energi wins contract to help create new sustainable Center Parcs

Specialist sustainable energy company, Vital Energi, has won the contract to create the district heating network for Center Parcs’ fifth holiday village in the UK, due to open in spring 2014.

The new £250 million Woburn Forest Center Parcs in Bedfordshire is currently under construction and is being built to an exemplary level of energy efficiency and sustainability standards.

Center Parcs Woburn Forest will comprise of 625 low carbon forest lodges and a 75-bed hotel and spa. It will also include indoor and outdoor sports facilities, restaurants, retail units, a lake and swimming pool.

Birse Civils, the Balfour Beatty Company which has won the £26 million contract to build the infrastructure for the village, has awarded the contract for designing, supplying and installing the main district heating network to Blackburn-based Vital Energi.

Work began on installing the 18km of pre-insulated steel and flexible plastic pipes in June 2012 and is due for completion by December 2012.

To accommodate the unique geography of the holiday village, which is being built within a forest, Vital Energi has worked with the client to design a district heating network which navigates a complex environment and includes an unprecedented amount of specially-made curved steel pipe.

Ian Whitelock, joint managing director of Vital Energi, commented: "Vital Energi is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract and to be able to use our expertise to help Center Parcs realise its ambition of a more sustainable heating system for its new Woburn Forest holiday village.

Woburn Forest will be an exemplary sustainable tourism destination. Center Parcs is investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies to achieve its aim of consuming 25 per cent less energy than the average existing village.

Center Parcs UK Limited welcomed 1.6 million visitors to its four existing villages last year and still managed to achieve 7 per cent carbon reduction across the company. This year Center Parcs is aiming for a four per cent carbon reduction.

Center Parcs was ranked joint number one in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Performance League Table, published for the first time last year. The league table ranks companies and organisations on their efforts to improve energy efficiency.


No ifs, No T-butts…introducing the Composite Steam Boiler...

...that steamrollers the competition!

With its unique design features optimising efficiency and saving plant owners money, the ICI Caldaie Composite Steam Boiler is fast becoming the boiler of choice throughout the Water Industry.

The ICI Composite Boiler range has been selected for some of the highest-profile enhanced Bio Gas projects currently being delivered in the UK, including Beckton & Crossness THP projects and the 4 Anglian Water AMP 5 Special Projects (Basildon, Cliff Quay, Colchester and Pye Wipe STWs). It is also being considered for a number of other on-going schemes.

In addition, a worldwide THP technology provider has recognised the numerous advantages that come with an ICI Caldaie Composite Boiler.

The first feature of the composite boiler is the fired section, consisting of a three pass and fully wet back design. ICI Caldaie incorporates all its standard firetube boiler design features into its composite boilers, ensuring a long and reliable life-cycle.

The Benefits

  • The main boiler body is manufactured with flanged tube plates – rather than traditional t-butt welds - to ensure maximum security and reduced stress points.
  • Large furnace designed for low heat release, incorporating possible corrugated design.
  • Front doors fitted to the boiler by double pin joint hinges that can be opened without removing the burner.
  • Feed water inlet thermal sleeve and stainless steel sparge pipe
  • Internal steam separator to ensure dryness fraction of 99.5%.
  • Arced internal support brackets to reduce stress points.                                       

Combining a waste heat and fired boiler together, this ICI Caldaie product has a separate section for utilising high-grade waste heat from new CHP assets. The waste heat operates as the primary fuel source to generate the provision of free steam for on-site process requirements as opposed to using non-renewable fuel sources such as gas and oil, which obviously come at an additional cost.

Efficiency of the composite unit can be improved, typically in excess of 5%, with the addition of flue gas economisers.

ICI Caldaie UK Ltd. is a member of the Torishima Global Group of companies, having been part-acquired by Torishima (Europe) Projects (TEP), in the autumn of 2012.

TEP specialise in the turnkey delivery of steam and hotwater boilerhouse systems and associated process plant.

For more information, contact Steve Poole, UK Industrial Boiler Manager at ICI Caldaie Ltd. or call: 01373-825563


Boiler Operation Accreditation courses in Qatar

Hamad Medical Corporation’s boiler operatives are the first to receive accredited qualification outside of the UK. David Kilpatrick, director of the Combustion Engineering Association reports.

Leaving aside the magic of steam trains and the “proper engineering” of working museum exhibits, it is easy to miss the principal applications of steam. Steam is a very efficient method of transferring energy from a boiler to multiple locations where a wide variety of processes may need heat energy. Hot water can do this, but steam can pack so much more energy into the same volume and has the bonus of being ready for sterilisation of plant and products if required. That is why steam tends to be the energy vector of choice in hospitals.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), The Combustion Engineering Association (CEA) and the Safety Assessment Federation (Safed), manufacturers, training centres and employers all saw the need to create best practice guidance in safe boiler operation that everyone could support. The UK’s Combustion Engineering Association (CEA) provides the independent platform to bring all parties together and subsequently issue certificates to qualified operatives. That certificate is in the name of the Boiler Operation Assessment Scheme (BOAS), which also accommodates the supervisors and Managers.

Green Energy & Environmental Services Co. (GEESC) is an authorised Qatari training and consultancy company that delivers training and consultancy services to the major industries and governmental entities in Qatar. With a staff of over 800, many of whom have responsibility for operating the steam boilers across HMC’s sites throughout Qatar, Robert Smith, head of facilities at the Hamad Medical Corporation, was very keen to have some of his key staff qualified to international standards. Smith said: “with so much development and growth in the medical facilities market, I was becoming aware that sometimes my staff, in this case steam boiler operatives, had not received much formal training, or at least not for some time; so I set about formalising a training and certification programme to ensure that everyone was aware of the current best practice.”

While the engineers were competent with lots of experience and were made up of graduate engineers, navy, merchant navy, electrical engineers and some trained by US naval, there were gaps in the training they had received.

GEESC received a request for quotation from Hamad Medical Corporation for the delivery of BOAS training and subsequently contacted the CEA in the UK to find a suitable supplier for the course. Some of the eight BOAS approved training providers submitted proposals to GEESC for the work and after a selection process, Byworth Boilers were chosen to bid with GEESC to deliver the training in Doha. GEESC went on to win the project for delivering the BOAS Training to Hamad Medical Corporation.

GEESC is the authorised representative for Byworth Boilers in Qatar. The training carried out by Steve Blackburn of Byworth Boilers, in Doha, was the first BOAS course for 40 candidates from the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). The training took place at their Engineering Training Department, Hamad Medical City, Doha. The candidates were from various sites across Qatar including from the Doha medical centre. Each of the two cohorts took five days (Sunday – Thursday) to complete and the qualification which is likened to taking a driving test but not the lessons leading to that test, as all candidates have to have previous experience in order to qualify for the course.

Candidates spent three days in the training room and half a day in the Central Boiler House for practical ‘hands on’ experience and training. The first of the two courses had 19 attendees with 23 for the second (40 took the exams), and for the practical work the trainees were in groups of 5 or 6. All four exam papers were taken at the Engineering Training Centre, with assessments done by Iain Summerfield of Kiwa GASTEC at CRE Cheltenham took place over the following 5 days. Iain followed exactly the same process that we use in the UK, where strict separation is maintained between the training programme and the ultimate assessment of competence.

The very enthusiastic trainees ranged from senior engineers to boiler operators and all were from either the Philippines or India. Maire Gallen organised the training for Green Energy and Floriano Kempis for HMC, and the course was authorised by Robert Smith, director of engineering for HMC. Abdulla al Kubaisi is the head of training for HMC, with more training programmes anticipated to follow. 

The final part of the process is the CEA registration, done by CEA officials based at its new offices in Sedgefield. The information supplied by the candidate to the training centre, the examination results and Assessor’s report, all of which go toward verification that the candidate justify registration under BOAS. 

Successful candidates receive a CEA certificate, confirming BOAS accreditation valid for five years, together with an identity card to confirm their status.



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