8 March 2019 by Will Date

SELCHP reaches 25 years in operation

The South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) facility, based in Lewisham, has reached its 25th year in operation.

The 440,000 tonnes per year facility became operational in February 1994 and is operated by Veolia Environmental Services – taking in waste from London councils including Lewisham, Greenwich, Westminster and Bromley.

SELCHP was opened in 1994

According to Veolia, the R1-compliant facility has handled over 10 million tonnes of waste over its lifetime, producing over 5 million MWh of electricity. The facility is thought to have reduced CO2 emissions by up to 7,700 tonnes per year.


In 2014, working in partnership with the London Borough of Southwark, a district heating network was installed at the site, providing 2,800 homes with heat and hot water from the process.

Powering 60,600 homes and also providing heat to thousands of local homes every year, further developments are currently in the planning stage to ensure the system is expanded to more heat consumers and residents.

“The success of SELCHP has proved that this type of plant makes a vital contribution to the environment and the communities it serves.”

Richard Kirman

Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer, Veolia UK & Ireland who was on site on the opening day, and worked on waste inputs and emissions controls 25 years ago, said: “The success of SELCHP has proved that this type of plant makes a vital contribution to the environment and the communities it serves. Access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy has a direct impact on modern life and is linked to fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

“To virtually eliminate wastes and produce energy in its place is a win-win situation. By generating green electricity and heat from resources such as non-recyclable residual waste we improve resource efficiency, reduce landfill and achieve greater sustainability as part of the circular economy.”

The plant handles waste from several London local authorities

SELCHP is one of 10 energy from waste plants operated by Veolia across the UK.  With a total generating capacity of 180 MWe these provide enough low carbon electricity for the equivalent of over 430,000 homes.

SELCHP was jointly developed by Veolia and CNIM Development, a company jointly owned by CNIM Group and Cube Infrastructure Fund. iCON Infrastructure group, acquired CNIM Development’s stake in SELCHP in August 2018.

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