Electric cremators to be considered for crematorium - The Worcester Observer

Electric cremators to be considered for crematorium

Worcester Editorial 18th May, 2024   0

A SCHEME to replace gas cremators at Astwood Crematorium with a greener alternative is set to progress, if approved by councillors.

The cremators currently used at the Worcester City Council-owned crematorium are reaching the end of their operational life.

Councillors will consider a report next week which suggests taking out the three gas cremators, which were installed in 1997, and installing two electric alternatives.

Replacing the current cremators would minimise the risk of operational downtime and secure compliance with environmental legislation including mercury abatement.

Electric cremators are significantly more energy efficient than gas and generate less carbon and nitrogen oxides emissions.

Plans also include the removal of the existing gas boiler which heats the crematorium building, with the facility instead benefiting from a heat exchanger linked to the electric cremators.

Electricity purchased by the Council is certified as zero-emission and from renewable sources.

The new cremators would be able to cope with increased demand and space would be left for a third cremator, if ever required.

Each year the carbon saving from the proposed project would be equivalent to nearly 300 petrol powered cars – representing an 18 per cent reduction of the Council’s calculated carbon footprint.

Lloyd Griffiths, Worcester City Council’s corporate director of operations, homes and communities, said: “Astwood Crematorium has a vital role to play in the city.

“This work would ensure that families can continue to be supported at what is one of the most difficult and sensitive times we face, whilst significantly improving the green credentials of the facility and the Council.”

Councillors will be asked to make an adjustment to the Council’s capital programme of £5.5m to cover the full costs of electric cremator replacement, along with necessary fees and surveys to progress the project to a point where in the Autumn Councillors can then consider investing in public facing improvements to the facility.

The Council will save around £20,000 per year in energy costs by switching the crematorium to electric cremators supported by a new heating system.

The scheme is possible after the City Council successfully bid for £1.497million from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The Committee will consider the scheme at their next meeting on 21 May.

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