The world’s first commercially operating BioSNG (synthetic natural gas) plant making gas from waste has been opened in Swindon, marking further progress in the UK’s rapidly growing green gas market.

The technology has the potential to provide 100TWh (terawatt hours) of green gas per year; enough to fuel all Britain’s HGVs or meet one third of domestic heating demand.

The new plant has been developed by National Grid Gas Distribution, Advanced Plasma Power and Progressive Energy. It will produce 22GWh of substitute natural gas per year from 10,000 tonnes of household waste.

The low carbon BioSNG produced will fuel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and supply gas to homes and businesses.

When fully operational, the plant will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5,000 tonnes per year. The use of green gas, such as BioSNG, biomethane and hydrogen, will also make efficient use of the UK’s extensive gas network infrastructure, meaning costs and disruption to customers are minimised.

Another benefit is that no adaptations of domestic appliances are required to use BioSNG.

National Grid Gas Distribution Chief Executive Chris Train, OBE, said: “National Grid Gas Distribution is delighted to invest in this important project.

“Developing green technologies such as BioSNG means our customers can keep on using our network and their existing household appliances for affordable energy which will also be more sustainable and eco-friendly. Green gas fuelled vehicles also cause much less pollution than diesel and are particularly suitable for inner cities.”

He added: “Making gas from household waste also reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill. We’re delighted to be at the forefront of this exciting new frontier in the sector.”

David Smith, Chief Executive of industry body the Energy Networks Association said: “The UK’s gas distribution networks are working with industry partners to drive innovation in green gas technology which will provide clean, affordable and sustainable energy to meet the challenges of decarbonisation.