National Grid Gas Distribution
Steven Vallender, Asset Strategy and Investment Manager
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This project seeks to prove the technical and economic feasibility of thermal
gasification of waste to renewable gas (bio-substitute natural gas or BioSNG), through
constructing a demonstration plant to take an existing stream of syngas and upgrading
it to GSMR quality gas. If successful this will increase the potential availability of
renewable gas in the UK by 100TWh.
It will test and demonstrate this by taking a waste derived syngas from Advanced
Plasma Power's (APP) Gasplasma® demonstration facility, located at Swindon and
upgrade it through a dedicated conversion and clean up plant to a pipeline quality
(Gas Safety Management Regulation Specification or GSMR) gas.
The build and operation of the processing plant and test programme will test and
demonstrate the concept and design of how syngas from waste can be converted to
pipeline quality gas. It will inform the design and economics of subsequent commercial
plants that could significantly increase the potential of renewable gas in the UK.
The project follows on from IFI79 (Feasibility and Design of a BioSNG Demonstration
project). The project is expected to take approximately 3 years, split into a number of
phases including final design and safety, build, commission and detailed test
programmes. The planned start date is the 1st April 2014 with an expected completion date of 31st March 2017.
The project will by demonstrating technology to show how biogenic waste and biomass
can be converted into a BioSNG gas stream which can provide renewable gas into the
grid at the correct pipeline specifications. By doing this it will ensure that there is an
alternative source of fuel to deliver low carbon heat other than converting domestic
and commercial heat demand to electric heat pumps. The avoided costs of conversion
to electric heat sources for gas customers has been estimated at £25bn, whilst the
cost of decommissioning the gas distribution networks would be a further £8bn.