Enagás and Suma Capital start up the first private industrial biomethane facility with connection to the Spanish gas network

03 November 2021

• The UNUE project is the first operating facility for the generation of biomethane from agri-food waste with network injection carried out in Spain by a private initiative
• It is located in Burgos, where this renewable gas is produced and injected into the gas network, specifically Nedgia, a gas distributor of the Naturgy group
• The initiative aims to produce and inject approximately 20 GWh of biomethane per year into the Spanish gas system, thus reducing emissions by around 30,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent
• The company Biogasnalia, from Burgos, owner of the biogas terminal where the waste is treated, is well-established as a benchmark waste manager in the region

Enagás and Suma Capital have started up the first industrial biomethane production facility connected to the Spanish gas network as a result of a private initiative. Today, the companies behind the initiative have held a presentation ceremony of the project, located in Burgos, which was chaired by the Mayor of Burgos, Daniel de la Rosa, and was also attended by Mariano Muñoz Fernández, Head of the Territorial Service of Industry, Trade and Economy of Burgos. Attending on behalf of the promoter companies were Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás, Ruperto Unzué, Partner of Suma Capital, Narcís de Carreras, CEO of Nedgia, José Luis Alonso, Manager of Biogasnalia, and Fernando Selva, Founding Partner of AGF Procesos.

From left to right: Fernando Selva, Founding Partner of AGF Procesos; José Luis Alonso, Manager of Biogasnalia; Narcís de Carreras, CEO of Nedgia; Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás; Daniel de la Rosa, Mayor of Burgos; Ruperto Unzué, Partner of Suma Capital; and Mariano Muñoz Fernández, Head of the Territorial Service of Industry, Commerce and Economy.

This project, called UNUE, started in September 2020 with the construction of a terminal that will allow the transformation of biogas into biomethane. After a year of work and the successful completion of the first injections into the Spanish gas pipeline network, the terminal, located in the Villalonquéjar industrial estate (Burgos), has started operating. The first biomethane injection was made in September 2021, specifically at Nedgia, a gas distributor of the Naturgy group.

The Burgos-based company Biogasnalia, a benchmark in waste management in Castilla y León, will be in charge of generating biogas at the facility.

UNUE aims to produce and inject approximately 20 GWh of biomethane per year into the Spanish gas system, which would reduce emissions by around 30,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

During the presentation ceremony, the Mayor of Burgos, Daniel de la Rosa, showed his support for this initiative and stressed “the importance of Burgos having the first private industrial biomethane facility in operation with connection to the Spanish gas network”.

Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás, pointed out that “projects such as UNUE reflect our aim to be drivers of change towards sustainability that is compatible with the competitiveness of industries and job creation, as well as extending the energy transition to all territories, leaving no one behind”.

Along the same line, Ruperto Unzué, Partner of Suma Capital, pointed out that “investments such as UNUE allow us to achieve the purpose of adding our commitment to achieve the future we believe in, with a decarbonised and local energy”.

According to Narcís de Carreras, CEO of Nedgia, “this terminal is a perfect example of circular economy in the region, converting waste into a 100% renewable energy resource. It is the first terminal in Spain to inject biomethane from agri-food waste into the Nedgia Castilla y León network, with a quantity of renewable gas produced equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 2,700 homes in Burgos”.

For his part, José Luis Alonso, manager of Biogasnalia, expressed pride that “his company was the first Spanish company to take part in such an innovative project in the field of biogas and, above all, to be able to count on Enagás and other partners to be able to carry it out”.

In the words of Fernando Selva, Founding Partner of AGF Procesos, “the technology used in this project has been water absorption”, and he added that “AGF is the only national company that has developed it and one of the few in Europe”.

The start-up of this industrial facility is in addition to the first existing publicly owned biomethanation terminal in Spain, the Valdemingómez Technology Park (Madrid). In addition, there are other private projects at an advanced stage of development, such as the biomethane terminal at La Galera (Tarragona), which will inject biomethane into the natural gas transmission network.

Biogas is obtained, among other processes, through the anaerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic waste from industry, agriculture or livestock. After being purified through a technological process called upgrading, it turns into biomethane.

Biomethane is a local, storable and renewable energy source with continuity rates that are not currently offered by other renewable sources. It is one of the most efficient energy solutions in terms of circular economy, environmental impact and energy efficiency that reduces atmospheric emissions. It can be transported using existing gas infrastructure and has multiple energy uses, such as in the energy-intensive industry or as a sustainable fuel for vehicles.

Collaboration

The UNUE project originates from an agreement signed in 2019 by Enagás’ subsidiary Bioengas and Suma Capital to promote biogas and biomethane development projects and jointly contribute to a circular economy. UNUE is the inaugural project resulting from this business partnership. Bioengas is a subsidiary created in 2019 through Enagás’ Entrepreneurship’ programme -Enagás Emprende-, currently part of the Enagás Group.

Suma Capital is an independent investment manager with more than 500 million euros under management, focused on business growth and sustainable development. It manages funds specialised in sustainable infrastructures that promote the energy transition and the circular economy, generating a positive environmental and social impact.

Bioengas and Suma Capital reached an agreement to generate biogas with Biogasnalia, a leading organic waste management company in Castilla y León and owner of the biogas terminal where the waste is treated. Through an upgrading process, the biogas is converted into biomethane and then injected into Nedgia’s distribution network.

The two companies have also had the support of AGF Ingeniería de Procesos, specialised in renewable gases, during the development and start-up phase of the terminal, in which it has been in charge of the design and execution of the upgrading. AGF has also designed, built and operates the Biogasnalia biogas terminal.

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