Work is underway in Wiltshire on what is claimed to be the first commercially viable facility to convert household waste to bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG).
The £25m site near Swindon is being pioneered by Advanced Plasma Power. National Grid Gas Distribution will take in 10,000 tonnes of waste from the local area and produce 22GWh of BioSNG, enough to heat 1,500 homes.
Fifty jobs have been created for the construction phase, and the plant is due to be operational from 2018 after being developed at a £5m pilot plant.
The operators say the technology has the potential to generate 100TWh of BioSNG each year if deployed nationwide, enough to power the UK’s heavy goods vehicles.
It will initially provide fuel for a fleet of 40 vehicles operated by Howard Tenens, a local logistics company, resulting in a 80% cut in the firm’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel
The project has been funded by an £11m grant from the Department for Transport’s Advanced Biofuels Competition, Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and other project partners: Progressive Energy (strategic and engineering direction); Wales & West (connecting the facility to the gas grid); and CNG Services (adviser on use of gas in transport.)
Rolf Stein, chief executive of Advanced Plasma Power, said: “As our technology matures, we will be able to convert waste into fuels cost competitively with fossil fuels, helping to achieve an affordable, secure and sustainable low-carbon future.”
Transport minister John Hayes said: “Biofuels have an important role to play in keeping Britain moving and will deliver cleaner, greener fuels.
“Thanks to our £11m investment, this Swindon plant will help to make significant carbon savings and deliver a boost to the technology.
“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel.”
smaller bio sng infographic