A PLANT which will generate pioneering ‘green’ gas to heat homes will begin construction next week.

Advanced Plasma Power, based in the South Marston Business Park, have announced plans to build a commercial plant which will produce bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG), an affordable low carbon gas that can be used to heat homes and power vehicles.

The £25m facility is a result of a collaboration between National Grid, Advanced Plasma Power and Progressive Energy who worked on a successful £5m pilot plant. This is part of the GoGreenGas project which aims to provide a replacement for natural gas which generates low levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new facility is expected to create up to 50 jobs.

The BioSNG gas has been hailed as a ‘world first’ in renewable energy.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland praised the town for its innovative nature.

“What Swindon means to me is innovation and change. The change and innovation is what makes this town truly great,” he said.

“We are making that jump from innovation into commercial market.

“Make no mistake, Swindon is the place to be when it comes to these renewables and clean sustainable sources of energy.

“Swindon is a growing, thriving innovative place and I am proud to represent the town.”

Pillars of the construction, engineering and energy sectors attended the conference which also included talks from Advanced Plasma Power CEO Rolf Stein, CE0 of National Grid Gas Distribution Chris Train and Chris Manson-Whitton, director at Progressive Energy.

The plant aims to be operational by the end of 2017. It is hoped the natural gas will become a popular alternative to fossil fuels with the businesses estimating 33 per cent of domestic heat demand can be met by green gas. The BIOsng fuel will be able to heat 1,500 homes.

The green natural gas will be fuelled by everyday waste and the company hope it will cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Its starting point is a fuel is made from rubbish, which is shredded, has extracted from it and then dried.

The fuel is heated in a metal tube known as a gasifier and converted to gas. Tars, heavy metals and acid compounds are removed with the clean gas compressed and mixed with steam.

Catalysts encourage the gas to combine with the steam and became biogas – a mixture of natural gas and carbon dioxide. The Co2 is then removed before natural gas makes it way to the grid

Mr Buckland cut the ribbon around a JCB digger donated by MJ Church to officially break the ground at the new facility.

Guests were then treated to a tour of the new facilities.