Biomass Energy

16 Apr 2024

Engie buys two Dutch biogas sites, hunts for more

16 Apr 2024  by reuters   

The logo of Engie is seen during the company's annual general shareholders meeting in Paris, France, April 26, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier Purchase Licensing Rights
French energy company Engie (ENGIE.PA), opens new tab has acquired two biomethane production sites in the Netherlands it hopes to expand, in line with plans to produce 10 terawatt hours (TWh) of the gas and sell 30 TWh annually in Europe by 2030, the company said on Tuesday.

The purchases bring Engie's total installed biogas production capacity in Europe to 1.1 TWh — about 0.04% of European Union natural gas consumption last year.

One plant in Hardenburg produces 0.09 TWh annually, with the possibility to expand to 0.15 TWh. The second site in Alkmaar produces 0.05 TWh annually and could expand to 0.094 TWh.

While the deal price was not released, last year Engie paid 64.8 million pounds ($80.73 million) to snap up three British sites producing 0.16 TWh annually. Last month it added another 0.06 TWh to its portfolio with the acquisition of Rainbarrow Farm in Britain.

"We hope, as was the case in England, that with these two acquisitions we will acquire some notoriety in the Netherlands that will allow other opportunities to come to us ... as farmers who have built their methanisers sell and retire, or as investment funds cede sites as part of their rotation of assets," Camille Bonenfant, who heads Engie's European renewable gas business, told Reuters in an interview.

Biomethane is chemically identical to natural gas and can be injected into existing pipeline grids, but is produced by bacteria feeding on crops and manure in a process called anaerobic digestion.

EU rules label biomethane "renewable," meaning countries and companies can count it as green energy alongside wind and solar and mandate its use via quotas, notably in the transport sector - even as it produces the same amount of climate-warming emissions as natural gas when burned.

Bonenfant said the biogas from the acquired sites already has guaranteed buyers via existing contracts, but that Engie hopes over time to include the volumes in its own sales portfolio to boost its integrated gas business.


More News