All over the world, companies engage in energy transition

By | 2020-02-28

Here’s an overview of key biogas news.


Sweden: HDV gas filling station opens in Kalmar

This is Gasum’s 10th gas filling station in Sweden and an important part of Gasum’s plan to build a network of 50 gas filling stations for HDV’s by the early 2020s in the Nordics. The Nordic gas filling station network is expanding to Kalmar as Gasum opened a gas filling station for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) this week. The new gas filling station provides HDVs with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG). “Building the gas filling station network for HDVs is an essential part of Gasum’s strategy. In the Nordics, most cargo transport takes place by road. Because of the long distances, we must keep focusing on creating further opportunities for logistics and transport companies to switch from fossil diesel to LNG and LBG.

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This building turns industrial food waste into energy

Many companies in the U.S. are finding that consumers want the brands they buy to reflect their personal values. One of the last old coal burning power plants in West Michigan has closed. The Sims coal plant in Grand Haven is being decommissioned. But as production at that plant ends, another type of power plant is getting a new start. Many companies in the U.S. are finding that consumers want the brands they buy to reflect their personal values, according to Patrick Serfass of the American Biogas Council. He explains that demand is leading companies to want to prove that they are invested in a sustainable future, and for food manufacturers, there is a place in Fremont that is helping them become greener.

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Suez making ‘steady progress’ at UK Eco Park with AD facilities

UK recycling firm Suez’ Eco Park, currently under construction in Surrey, UK, is making ‘steady progress’, according to the company. The site is in the final stages of testing for the anaerobic digestion (AD) facility and ‘ongoing hot commissioning’ of the gasification facility. Once completed, the Eco Park will handle and process bulky waste, recyclables and residual waste from homes in northern Surrey, food waste from homes around Surrey and waste from local businesses. According to Suez, to date, the AD facility has processed 11,000 tonnes of food waste and generated 2.5 GWh of energy – enough to power 700 homes for a year.

Read more on Bioenergy Insight

Quebec utility signs first deal with gas producer under certification program

A Calgary company is the first to land a supply contract with Quebec’s major natural gas distributor based on obtaining certification for its responsible production of the heating fuel. Seven Generations Energy Ltd. says it will send about 10 per cent of its northwestern Alberta gas production — roughly 50 million cubic feet per day — by existing pipelines to Energir s.e.c. (formerly known as Gaz Metro) under a multi-year agreement that began this month. Seven Generations CEO Marty Proctor says the company will receive a small price premium under the contract but its real importance to the gas industry is in the establishment of a new market within Canada.

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Drax Power Station to stop using coal in 2021

Drax will stop using coal in 2021, ahead of the UK’s 2025 deadline. After almost 50 years of coal-fired electricity generation, Drax Power Station has committed to ending the use of coal in March 2021, marking a major milestone in the company’s ambition to become carbon-negative by 2030. The company’s decision follows a comprehensive review of its operations. Although Drax does not expect to use coal after March 2021, it will ensure that its two remaining coal units are available until September 2022, in line with its existing capacity market agreements.

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Snam and SOCAR sign green gas promotion agreement

Italy-headed gas infrastructure major Societal Nazionale Metanodotti (Snam) and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) have signed a cooperation agreement to study the development of renewable gases and use of sustainable energy, with a view to their delivery through the Southern Gas Corridor including Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in the future. Both companies own a 20 percent stake in TAP and SOCAR is a major shareholder of the other Southern Gas Corridor projects. The agreement will investigate prospective collaboration on biomethane, hydrogen and sustainable mobility as well as possible developments regarding the delivery of green gas through the Southern Gas Corridor.

Read more on Bioenergy International

Smithfield Foods and RAE invest further $45 million in bioenergy joint venture

Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) have announced an additional $45 million (€41.5 million) investment in their Monarch Bioenergy joint venture. The project involves methane being captured from hog manure to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in Missouri, US. The latest investment will enable the companies to expand the project on Smithfield’s farms, resulting in RNG generation at 85% of the company’s facilities in the state. Currently, the manure-to-energy projects are in operation at five of Smithfield’s farms in northern Missouri. The Monarch Bioenergy venture forms part of the company’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025.

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EQTEC to upgrade Spanish waste to energy facility for biofuel production

Waste gasification to energy company EQTEC has been awarded a contract for the upgrade of the existing syngas research and development facility at the University of Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain. The university was recently successful in a funding application to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the testing of the production of biofuels from syngas using a Fischer-Tropsch process and unit. Installation of the unit will enable the production of sustainable biofuels from the high-quality syngas produced from EQTEC’s advanced gasification process, which has been used at the facility in Spain since 2010.

Read more on Biofuels International


Farmers encouraged to optimise anaerobic digestion operations

Official statistics released by the NNFCC in 2019 revealed that there are 486 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the UK, 338 of which are farm-based and another 239 farm-based AD in development. With Feed in Tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) subsidies eventually running out, experts are encouraging the many farmers in ownership of AD plants to tap into ways to optimise their operations, to not only increase revenue now, but to ensure the plants can ‘self-sustain’ in future. Dr Kiara Zennaro, head of biogas for the REA, is chairing a conference session looking at the enhancement of AD plants at the Energy and Rural Business Show, which takes place on 3 and 4 March, and believes there are many ways for farmers to look at enhancing and optimising AD plants.

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‘It’s a no-brainer – Ireland is made for anaerobic digestion’

Ireland is “made for anaerobic digestion (AD)” and Irish rural areas could reap the benefits of an effective bioenergy industry – but this can only happen with supportive regulations, according to an industry expert in the field of bioenergy. In an in-depth interview with AgriLand, James Cogan, the EU climate policy analyst with Ethanol Europe – a firm also known as Pannonia Bio – said: “Bioenergy is all about regulation, because it’s virtually impossible to compete with fossil energy unless the regulator is supporting you.

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