Vital Energi on board for Liverpool heat network

The council will press on with a district heat network for Paddington Village in the city’s Knowledge Quarter, with energy provider Vital picked to deliver the project.

Liverpool City Council has been progressing with plans for district heat networks for some time, having first approved a network for Paddington Village in 2017.

Funding was secured in February this year from the Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy to support a project manager for Paddington Village’s network, as well as supporting the development of a network on the waterfront, which is currently at feasibility study stage.

The council has now chosen Vital Energi to deliver the network at Paddington Village, which will support its ambition to make the Paddington Village site a hub for life sciences, medical, education, and knowledge-industry uses.

The network will provide enough power to service all the remaining development plots across the 30-acre site, rather than each tenant providing its own heating system.

Following approval from the council, Vital Energi will enter into a design, build, operate, and maintain contract with the council; this will see the company build out the first phase of the heat network, along with maintaining and operating the system for five years once it completes.

Following this initial five-year period, the council can choose whether to continue with direct ownership of the heat network, or to sell it and seek investment partners for its longer-term lifecycle.

The council said it was “important that the construction works commence quickly” so they can be delivered at the same time as the currently-ongoing infrastructure works across the Paddington Village site.

A similar project is being proposed at Liverpool Waters, where Peel announced last year it would be bringing forward a network under the name Mersey Heat. The first phase of the network will be centred on existing buildings around Princes Dock along with planned new developments along the waterfront. The heat network will support space heating and hot water provision within the buildings.

Vital Energi is also on board to deliver Manchester’s Civic Quarter heat network, although works are yet to get under way after the project’s budget nearly doubled in 18 months. As of December, costs had risen from £14m to £26m, and as of this month, main works have not yet started. The scheme is part-funded by the Government’s £320m Heat Network Investment project, with a capital grant of £2.87m secured.

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Note to graphics dept:The image appears to be out of date and not representing what is actually being constructed at present, fyi.

By causal observer

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