FEBRUARY 13 - A NEW state-of-the-art Energy Centre for the Olympic Park is under construction and is beginning to take shape.

The Centre is being constructed in the west of the Olympic Park and will provide an efficient power, heating and cooling system across Olympic Park site for the Games and for the new buildings and communities that will develop after 2012.

Work is also racing ahead on the construction of the wider utilities networks and infrastructure across the Olympic Park, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) claimed. 

These include new water, gas, electrical and telecoms networks; a new electrical substation and electrical distribution network to supply electricity to the Olympic Park; and a new pumping station and sewer network to collect, convey and discharge wastewater from venues and buildings.

Simon Wright, the ODA's Director of Infrastructure and Utilities, said: “We are building for Games and legacy together from the very beginning and the strong progress we are making on the Energy Centre gives us a first glimpse of the essential new infrastructure that will serve the Olympic Park for generations to come.

“We are also making good progress on the wider utilities networks we are building which will complete the ‘wiring’ of the Olympic Park and will leave a backbone of new facilities essential for a lasting legacy.”

The Energy Centre, which has been designed by John McAslan & Partners and part of the utilities infrastructure will be housed within an existing Edwardian building in the west of the Olympic Park which will be retained and renovated, will include biomass fired boilers using sustainable biomass fuels to generate heat, and a Combined Cooling Heat & Power (CCHP) plant to capture the heat generated by electricity production.

This contributes significantly to ODA’s overall target to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent across the Olympic Park, they claimed.

The site-wide heat network will generate domestic hot water and heat the Aquatics Centre swimming pools and other venues and buildings.

The Energy Centre, which is being constructed by SUEZ Energy Services, through its subsidiary Elyo East London Energy Ltd design, is flexible to allow future technologies to be incorporated as they are developed in years to come, the ODA said.

The foundations of the Energy Centre building were completed at the start of the year and work is now nearing completion to erect the steel frame of the building.

Over 500 tonnes of steel used will be used in the structure which will be 45 metres tall at its highest point.

Once the steel frame has been completed, 3,500 square metres of concrete ‘planks’ will be lifted into place to form the floors and roof of the Energy Centre.

The Energy Centre is due for completion by the end of 2009 and is expected to become operational from early 2010 when it will begin providing heated water to the Olympic Stadium.

The Energy Centre will then be connected to further venues and buildings when they are completed, delivering an early legacy of essential services throughout the Olympic Park.

Work on the wider utilities infrastructure across the Olympic Park is also making strong progress, the ODA said.

The electrical substation structure is taking shape and is due for completion in the summer.

Work is also well underway on the pumping station and 1.8km foul sewer networks which are due to be operational by the end of 2009, said the ODA.