The Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability submitted a report, in order to provide Cabinet with an update on the delivery of the Caerau Heat Scheme project; to seek authority from Cabinet to undertake an options appraisal of alternative delivery methods and for Cabinet to agree to receive a further report with a proposal on the preferred option and a way forward.
By way of some background information, he confirmed that the Caerau Heat Scheme, was established as a highly innovative project and proposed to extract heat from water contained within flooded former coal mine workings, to provide a resource for properties within Caerau.
He referred Members to Table 1 in paragraph 3.5 of the report, which showed the decision gateways, with their originally estimated and revised dates. It also showed project outputs and outcomes that will be available in the event of the project being closed down at any one of the decision gates.
In terms of the present situation, the Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability, advised that in the past 12 months certain key pieces of work in relation to the Scheme had been completed. These were outlined in paragraphs 4.2 to 4.5 of the report.
As a result of this work and in line with the decision gateways for the project detailed in paragraph 3.6 of the report, it was now proposed that an options appraisal be undertaken to determine viability and suitability of alternative delivery methods. The options appraisal would be based on the set of criteria listed in paragraph 4.7 and cover the options detailed in paragraph 4.8 of the report.
He stated that an agreed view on the options appraisal would be developed by members of the Energy Programme Board, while the next steps for the project were proposed as follows:
• Undertake the options appraisal;
• Present the findings of the above to WEFO for consideration;
• Submit a report to Cabinet on the outcome of the options appraisal for a decision on how to proceed and if required a subsequent report to Council.
This would take in all around 6 months, the Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability added.
The report concluded by explain the financial implications arising from the report’s recommendations.
The Cabinet Member – Communities confirmed that it was important to note that the Caerau Minewater Project was a demonstrator project, a type to be set-up and learned from, which had been the case with regards to that particular project.
Whilst he considered that it was disappointing that the Council could not look at the current Scheme in its entirety as was originally proposed, he was pleased to confirm that there was still planned an element of Minewater project to be carried out within the location of Caerau.
There were a number of options to look at as part of the Appraisal and these would be closely examined accordingly he confirmed, along the lines as was outlined in the report.
The Leader added that a considerable amount of work had been carried out on the Project and this was of some value when completing a Feasibility Study, as outcomes of these on occasions, demonstrated that an alternative course of action or a realignment of the particular project was required, going forward.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:-
• Noted the action taken by officers in relation to the delivery of the project since the last report to Cabinet.
• Approved that an options appraisal of alternative delivery models as detailed in sections 4.7 and 4.8 of the report be undertaken.
• Delegated authority to the Corporate Director Communities to agree the final terms of the options appraisal in consultation with the Energy Programme Board.
• Noted that a further report shall be received once the options appraisal has been completed with a proposal on the preferred option and a way forward and, should it be required, recommend to Council an update to the Capital programme.