The chemist Arkema has signed a major 10-year contract with Engie for the purchase of biomethane, a gas resulting from the fermentation of agricultural and agri-food waste, the two groups announced on Thursday.
This contract, presented as one of the largest private biomethane contracts in Europe to date, covers the supply of 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year for 10 years.
No amount was disclosed.
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This low-carbon gas comes from 17 methanization sites, particularly agricultural, spread across France and whose production the energy giant buys for resale.
For Arkema, which thus obtains certifications for the use of low-carbon energy, it is a question of greening part of its process of producing polyamide from castor beans, a bio-sourced plastic material used in particular for sporting goods.
We are very pleased to announce this landmark contract with Engie, which will allow us to further reduce the carbon footprint of our high-performance bio-based materials, in line with our customers
' expectations," said Erwoan Pezron, Managing Director High Performance Polymers from Arkema. For Engie, this type of long-term contract “
makes it possible to manage the risks well
”, for the purchase over several years of an energy whose value can fluctuate, explained to AFP Marc Pannier, vice-president of Engie Global Energy Management and sales.
“It is a locally produced gas”
This type of gas supply contract, similar to what we see in the electricity sector sold directly from supplier to private actor (called "
" according to their English acronym), has been developing for two to three years. , he said.
Despite its higher production cost than gas of fossil origin, biomethane is an "
" solution for industrialists, underlines Mr. Pannier: "
it is a gas produced locally
", which offers security of supply, a fortiori in the present geopolitical context of the war in Ukraine and the interruption of supplies of Russian gas to Europe.
All the major industrial players are in decarbonization strategies,
“, he adds, referring to both “
a strategy of differentiation
” but also “
the obligations of incorporation
” of low-carbon energies imposed in certain sectors (for example transport).
There is a sustainable place for gas in the energy transition
", underlines Mr. Pannier, with the role of biomethane but also of hydrogen produced from renewable electricity.
At this stage, France has about 500 methanizers connected to the gas distribution network (including about twenty managed directly by Engie).
This sector produces some 2% of national gas consumption but is growing rapidly.
Last Thursday, the France Gaz association, which brings together companies in the gas sector in France, estimated that the country was able to double its biogas production target, obtained from the methanization of agricultural waste, to bring it to 20 % of national gas consumption from 2030.
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Such an objective would make it possible to compensate for the share of Russian gas (17%) which was imported by gas pipelines before the start of the war in Ukraine and to give a renewable and local character to part of the gas consumed in France instead of importing it. from abroad and to exhaust the resources of the basement.