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World's first BioSNG power plant to open in Swindon

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How the BioSNG power plant will lookHow the BioSNG power plant will lookThe world's first power station to convert household waste into low carbon bio-substitute natural gas will be opening in Swindon in the summer.

The £30m ultra hi-tech plant is being built by Midland's-based multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group for Advanced Plasma Power at South Marston business park.

Once online, the plant will produce treat 10,000 tonnes of refuse and waste wood per annum, to produce 22GWh of grid quality gas – enough to heat 1,500 homes or fuel 75 heavy goods vehicles.

The firm says that if the technology is replicated across the country it has the potential to help the UK meet its carbon budget and waste disposal commitments in the years ahead.

The new technology – developed by a consortium that includes Advanced Plasma Power, Britain’s largest gas distribution network, Cadent, and Progressive Energy – scooped the Technology Award at the prestigious Energy Institute Awards.

Having integrated and installed a £5 million pilot plant in 2016 and 2017, which proved the commercial and technical feasibility of the concept, the adi Projects arm of the business is now coordinating the installation, at Advanced Plasma Power’s Swindon site.

The plant is the first facility on the planet to produce a low carbon bio-substitute natural gas, BioSNG, from household waste.

Green gases, such as BioSNG, are sustainable, drop-in replacements for natural gas, offering the simplest and lowest cost solution to decarbonising heat and transport.

The product can be pumped into the gas mains network to be used in existing gas appliances, such as domestic boilers and ovens, or compressed natural gas filling stations.

Over 85 percent of adi Group’s work is self-delivered by its own engineers. With 34 specialist disciplines, the firm is able to deliver effective solutions right across the engineering spectrum.

The gasification project sees the adi Projects division act as a single point of contact for the consortium, coordinating the adi Group services of adi Electrical, adi Mechanical, adi Automation and adi Healy Compressors to meet all requirements in a joined up way.

James Sopwith, managing director of adi Projects, said, “It is a privilege to be involved so closely in turning such a promising concept into a commercial reality. APP’s gasification technology has the potential to be a real game-changer.

"Thanks to our self-delivering model, we are putting together a facility at the cutting edge, and one that can be pivotal in solving a range of long term societal issues. Exciting times.”

Rolf Stein, chief executive of APP, said “We have been impressed by adi’s work for us in the past and were pleased to select them to integrate our BioSNG demonstration project. We trust them to deliver the project on time and on budget.”

The project is part of adi Group's strategy to double its workforce by 2020, creating 500 new jobs and growing turnover from £82 million to £200 million.