Pioneering engineering works completed ahead of schedule at Edmonton EcoPark

North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) plan for a new sustainable waste hub at Edmonton EcoPark – the North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) – has reached another major milestone as NLHPP contractor Barhale completes complex engineering works to make way for new recycling facilities.

Barhale has been appointed to divert the Angel and Chingford sewers beneath the future Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) and public Reuse and Recycling Centre (RRC). In March, two 15 tonne Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) arrived at the EcoPark each measuring 5.2m long and 1.5m wide. Using the TBMs, Barhale utilised an innovative technique to prepare the site for the main diversion.

David Cullen, NLHPP Programme Director said, “It is fantastic to see yet another construction milestone reached on the Project to deliver new waste management facilities in north London.”

“The highly specialised engineering works to divert the two Thames Water sewers is critical for the successful delivery of our nationally significant infrastructure project and thanks to the innovative construction methods used by Barhale, we are ahead of schedule on this phase of works”.

The TBMs were used to bore the tunnels for the new sewers as part of the sewer diversion. During the design phase Barhale identified an opportunity to fast track the programme and help deliver this essential project at a faster pace for north London’s two million residents. Barhale used an innovative tunnel drive shaft design to carry out the tunnel boring using two pipe jacks from a single shaft at the same time.

Pipe jacking is a method of tunnelling by which sections of pipe are laid behind the TBM cutting head and pushed under very high jacking forces to drive the tunnel forward laying the new sewer at the same time. Using this innovative approach enabled Barhale to recycle water through both TBMs cutting approximately 65% of the water required to complete the task.

NLHPP Tunnel Boring Machines

NLHPP Tunnel Boring Machines

Jamie Lawson, Contracts Manager for Barhale said, “Carrying out both pipe jacks in unison allows subsequent contractors to access the site earlier and help to ensure that this key phase of the Project is brought in ahead of schedule".

The sewer diversion is critical in order for the new RRF and RRC to be built. The RRF will be one of the largest publicly owned facilities of its kind in London with capacity to manage 135,000 tonnes of recyclable material every year. The RRC will allow north London residents and businesses to bring their recycling direct to the EcoPark for the first time ever, which is part of NLWA’s commitment to help drive up north London’s household recycling rates from 30% to 50%.

Progress on the NLHPP is moving at an impressive pace. Earlier this year, construction started to build brand-new flagship waste management facilities including an RRF, RRC and EcoPark House - a new visitor and education centre where the local community will be able to learn more about waste management and recycling, and how to reduce the carbon impact of their waste. It will also provide a new modern home for the Edmonton Sea Cadets.

By the end of 2021, a contractor will be chosen to build the new world-class Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) which will ensure north London’s non-recyclable waste stays out of landfill. It will have capacity to generate low-carbon heating and hot water for more than 10,000 homes and businesses across the Meridian Water development, with the capacity to supply up to 30,000 more homes across the borough and beyond.