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Laing O'Rourke/Imtech JV wins £140M Beckton Sewage Treatment Works upgrade

Thames Water has awarded the £140M contract for the upgrade of the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works extension to Tamesis - a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Imtech Process. 

The contract is part of a £190M project at Beckton, the largest sewage treatment works in Europe, to help clean up the River Thames. Construction work is expected to start this spring.

The improvements will enable the site to treat 60% more sewage than it does now, so it can:

  • fully treat increased flows during heavy rainfall, which currently discharge as storm sewage into the River Thames when the site becomes overloaded to prevent streets and homes from flooding;
  • treat additional storm flows from the Lee Tunnel, a new four-mile sewer which will capture storm sewage that currently overflows into the River Lee when the sewerage system gets overwhelmed during heavy rainfall. The expansion has also been designed to accommodate additional flows from the proposed Thames Tunnel.

The upgrade at Beckton, due for completion in 2014, forms part of Thames Water’s London Tideway Tunnels programme. This is made up of three major schemes: the £600M Lee Tunnel project, the proposed Thames Tunnel and a £675M investment to improve London’s five principal sewage treatment works including Mogden, Crossness, Long Reach and Riverside.

Thames Water chief operating officer Steve Shine said: “This expansion marks a fundamental step in improving the quality of London’s iconic river, while also serving the future needs of London and achieving significant environmental  benefits,  including reducing odour.

“This work will enable us to fully treat 60% more sewage arriving at the site during heavy rainfall, and allow for a 10 per cent population increase until 2021.

“On top of this, we’ll also be erecting odour-blocking covers over all 16 primary settlement tanks at the plant - an  area  the  size  of  ten  football pitches - and installing ‘odour-control units’ at the site to clean outgoing air, so we can substantially reduce odour emissions by 2015.”

Tamesis project director Gary Crisp said: “The Tamesis team is of course delighted with award of this contract, hot on the heels of the Crossness Sewage Treatment Works award.  Our multidisciplinary teams will be working closely with Thames Water to ensure delivery of this scheme and coordination with adjacent schemes, to achieve the hugely important Tideway improvements for London and the River Thames.” 

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