World’s first waste to natural gas plant secures £6m of funding

World’s first waste to natural gas plant secures £6m of funding

Money will be used by consortium to build and operate plant using Advanced Plasma Power’s Gasplasma® technology to produce biomethane from household waste.

National Grid has been awarded £5.4 million to fund a ground breaking waste to biofuel project.

The new funding will complement £11 million secured from the Department for Transport in September by the consortium which is led by Advanced Plasma Power (APP), a UK advanced waste to energy and fuels company.

The latest grant has been awarded under Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC). It will be used to build and operate the first-ever plant capable of turning residual waste from local homes and businesses into substitute natural gas to be piped into the national gas grid.

The NIC awards funds to projects which demonstrate environmental benefits, cost reductions and security of supply. As well as National Grid and APP, the consortium also includes gas distribution company Wales & West Utilities, clean energy firm Progressive Energy, and CNG Services, a company which provides gas for use in vehicles.

The £5.4m, together with £600k contributed by National Grid itself, will be used to construct a plant in Swindon that will be the first of its kind in the world, taking residual waste – the UK’s largest sustainable source of biomass – and converting it into biomethane, using APP’s pioneering Gasplasma® technology. Once up and running, it will divert 7,500 tonnes of refuse derived fuel from landfill to produce 1.5m kilos of substitute natural gas annually – enough to fuel 75 heavy goods vehicles or 1,500 homes.

Substitute natural gas can be used interchangeably with natural gas in heavy goods vehicles and is significantly less carbon-intensive and polluting than diesel. It has the potential to cut carbon emissions from transportation vehicles by up to 96 per cent. The plant will also be able to pipe gas directly into the national grid, providing a secure and cost effective fuel for homes.

Construction of the plant will begin in 2016 and the consortium has already identified local customers for the product and suppliers for the feedstock.

Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power, said:

“We are delighted that this outstanding project has received further backing, and that Ofgem has recognised the potential to revolutionise how renewable gas is produced. The biomethane created from household waste offers an environmentally friendly solution to fuel vehicles, homes and businesses.

“This project has a key role to play in providing a renewable, secure and cost effective source of natural gas in line with government policy. Our expectation is that this plant will lead the way to a new generation of advanced recycling facilities both in the UK and around the world.”

David Parkin Director of Network Strategy at National Grid, said:

“Ofgem’s decision to award National Grid £5.4 million is a huge boost for this project and recognises the importance of what we are trying to achieve. The funding will allow us to press ahead with the construction of a new state-of-the-art demonstration plant, that will be capable of producing biomethane from household waste.

“We believe biomethane could eventually meet 40% of UK domestic gas demand, with customers benefiting from renewable energy being delivered directly through the gas network.”