Welsh Water has secured funding for a project to convert sewage to zero-emission fuel as part of its plans to reach the sector-wide carbon net-zero goal by 2030.

Sludge will be converted to hydrogen fuel to power the company’s vehicle fleet as it aims to ramp up hydrogen production across its wastewater treatment sites.

Working with Costain and local authorities the Make Your Poo Work For You scheme has been awarded £60,000 from Innovate UK.

Welsh Water said converting its vehicle fleet to run on hydrogen would save around 9,000 tonnes of carbon and reduce its overall footprint by 15 per cent.

Tony Harington, director of environment at Welsh Water, said: “This sewage-to-hydrogen fuel project is at the forefront of the innovation we need to pursue to meet these ambitious targets – and the funding from Innovate UK will help us on the way to de-carbonising our fleet of tankers.

“Together with the huge advances in solar, wind and hydro power across our sites, we’re ever closer to reaching our goal of meeting all our energy needs in a sustainable way.”

The company has a target to generate 100 per cent of its own energy onsite by 2050.

It recently completed solar array schemes at three of its sites at Cwmbran, Pembrokeshire and Swansea that will save an estimated  311 tonnes of carbon each year.

As one of the water sector’s five public interest commitments, coordinated by Water UK, all companies have pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Water UK is set to unveil the plan to achieve the goal this week.