SELCHP Visited by GSM London Undergraduates
A number of BSc Oil and Gas Management students were given an opportunity to attend a field trip to one of the power stations based in London. The trip was organised by two academics within the department of Logistics and Operations, Dr Najib Altawell and Mrs Dominika Lezon. The trip took place during two separate events on 17th and 25th November.
The chosen site ‘South East London Combined Heat & Power (SELCHP)’ is different to any other power station in London. This Energy Recovery Facility jointly built by the public and private sector is converting waste into electricity and heat for domestic use.
Partly due to the 1958 CHK Clear Air Act, which prevented householders from burning much of their waste, the adoption of landfills increased. In 1986, the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark and Greenwich came together to search for a solution to the increasing scarcity and environmental problems of landfill.
SELCHP was the first Energy from Waste scheme in the UK to hold Authorisation under the Integrated Pollution Control provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, 1990. In 1992 the station was awarded an Electricity Generation Licence by the Office of Electricity Regulation.
The plant was commissioned in December 1993 and was officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on 29th November 1994.
1% of the shares are owned by different private stakeholders and 1% by Lewisham Council, 49% of the shares is owned by SELCHP and 49% by Veolia – an international company offering services in water, waste and energy management.
SELCHP produces enough electricity to power around 48,000 homes and supplies 2,500 Southwark properties on a 5km pipe work system with heat and hot water.
The link between the field trip and the module “Environmental Management for Sustainable Development”:
During the 10 weeks of studies, students cover different environmental topics ranging from climate change, renewable energy, energy storage systems, oil & gas and environmental laws, and transportations, to India and China’s industrialisation and global challenges.
During this visit, students were able to see how this particular power station applies the theory they gained during the lectures. The presentations by SELCHP Engineer covered the facility’s operation cycle in detail and enabled the students to fully understand the process.
At the end of the visit, students were able to ask questions. The questions were directly linked to the knowledge they acquired from the lectures and tutorials and covered:
– ISO certification
– ROC (Renewable Obligation Certificate)
– Emissions from the power plant
– Energy Storage Systems (relevant to the current coursework)
– Internships / placements
– …and other related topics
Why did we decide to organise the trip?
One of the biggest advantages to field trips is that they allow students to have a real-world experience. This experience clearly illustrates and enhance information taught by the curriculum and, at the same time, may also open the door for future work placement and/or possible employment.
We are hoping to be able to organise other trips in the near future in order to enhance the students’ experience, i.e. by showing them how the theory introduced in the classroom can be applied and observed in action.
Quotes from participants regarding the fieldtrip:
‘I want to start by saying ‘a big thank you’ to Dominika Lezon and Dr Najib Altawell. I also appreciate the school authority and everyone that contributed to make that trip a reality.
This timely, well thought program enriched my understanding of the practical approach to environmental management.
The amazing thing was that I could not see the usual factory smokestack sending smoke and pollutants to the atmosphere. It was all like a closed system technology, turning harmful waste to useful essential commodity.’
My course mates and I have always shared the positive experience of this trip. I wish such trip would also be organised for refineries, and upstream sites.
To say the least, it was very relevant to my understanding of the module.
Prince Innocent Ikechukwu Okorogu
BSc (Hons) Oil and Gas Management student (based in Greenwich campus)
‘The field trip was fantastic, very educative. Seen the practical part of the module gave me a broader understanding of what has been thought in the class and how it is important to contribute into recycling and saving our planet.
Therefore, found it relevant to the Environmental Sustainability Management Module.’
Lovelyn Abbas Salihu
BSc (Hons) Oil and Gas Management student (based in Greenford campus)