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Calor LPG plays vital role in world’s first commercial BioSNG plant

Calor LPG will play a key role at the world’s first commercially viable bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG) plant in Swindon, which is set to convert 10,000 tonnes of household waste a year into renewable energy.

The plant, developed by Advanced Plasma Power, will process household waste from the local area, converting it to BioSNG that can then be distributed through the existing mains gas network to compressed natural gas filling stations for use by heavy goods vehicles. However, before the gas can qualify for injection into the mains gas grid, it must be ‘spiked’ with LPG to achieve a high enough calorific value. As a result, Calor is supplying and installing three 2,000-litre above ground tanks and associated pipework to the new facility.

The 10,000 tonnes of waste processed by the plant per annum will produce 22GWh of BioSNG. This is enough to fuel 75 heavy goods vehicles or heat 1,500 homes each year.

Funding for the new £27m facility has been supported by £17m of grants, with £11m awarded from the Department for Transport’s Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition and £6m from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition.

Andy Cornell, director of finance at Advanced Plasma Power, said: “Once operating, the plant is set to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5,000 tonnes a year. We believe that eventually the technology has the potential to generate 100TWh of BioSNG from waste each year, enough to fuel all of the UK’s buses and lorries.

“Calor has been extremely responsive throughout the process, demonstrating a great deal of flexibility to make sure the new tanks can be delivered and installed at our site when required.

“We hope the facility will be the first of many to generate BioSNG from waste, helping the UK take significant steps towards decarbonising heat and transport, which is worth 74 per cent of energy usage in the UK.”

Ken Davies, national sales manager at Calor, added: “BioSNG represents an exciting opportunity to help move the UK towards a more sustainable energy mix, and we are pleased to be playing a key part in helping to achieve this. By processing waste in this way, we can gain extra value from a product that would have otherwise been simply sent to landfill.

“LPG will help ensure the gas reaches the quality standards expected, ensuring customers receive the energy they have paid for.

“The LPG tanks at the facility will remain the property of Calor, which means Advanced Plasma Power does not need to invest time or resource in maintenance. Fitted with our intelligent automatic top-up technology, the tanks will notify a local Calor depot when they begin to run low on fuel, so a delivery from our fleet can be arranged.”

The installation is set to complete in January next year, with the plant due to be commissioned in June.

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