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From British Gas to biogas

British-owned energy supplier British Gas is to form a venture with Thames Water and Scotia Gas Networks that will see the construction of a new biomass pilot plant in Didcot, UK.

The plant will clean biomethane gas collected from human waste before injecting it into the grid to be used in kitchens and as heating.

The facility will be built at Didcot sewage works as this is where Thames Water is already harvesting raw biogas from sewage processing. The new plant will simply clean the gas and return it to the local grid. As the infrastructure already exists it is thought that the biogas could first enter the grid by as early as summer of this year.

The biogas will first be tested in 130 households located in Oxfordshire and British Gas claims that the difference between its biogas and the more conventional natural gas is unnoticeable. The cleaning process is expected to last around 23 days.

Following the government’s incentives designed to encourage the development and production of sustainable energy materials, the project could be the first in the UK to supply the grid with biogas.

British Gas is planning a further four biomethane demonstration projects. The managing director of communities and new energy, British Gas Gearóid Lane said: ‘By making early investments in biomethane we intend to drive forward the opportunity to deliver green gas to our customers.’