Renewable gas push: Total acquires French biogas producer

French supermajor Total claims to have become the domestic leader in renewable gas with its acquisition of compatriot Fonroche Biogaz.

Total on Monday confirmed its acquisition of Fonroche, a company that designs, builds and operates anaerobic digestion units and has close to 500 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in France.

Fonroche has a portfolio of seven units in operation and a pipeline of four imminent projects, which Total claimed made it the French market leader in the production of renewable gas, with more than 10% of the market share.

No deal value was disclosed.

Total’s president for gas, renewables and power, Philippe Sauquet, said the acquisition was in line with the Paris-based supermajor’s strategy and climate ambition to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Role of renewable gas in energy transition


“We believe that renewable gas has a key role to play in the energy transition as it contributes to reducing the carbon intensity of natural gas — and we support the imposition of renewable gas incorporation in natural gas networks," he said.

"In 2020, we stated our intention to contribute to the development of this sector, which we expect to become more competitive in the next few years. We intend to produce 1.5 terawatt-hours of biomethane a year by 2025 and Fonroche Biogaz is therefore the cornerstone of our development in this market."

Beyond 2025, Total intends to rapidly increase its biomethane production, targeting between 4 and 6 TWh of biomethane per annum by 2030.

According to Total, the acquisition of Fonroche Biogaz now makes it a “major player” in renewable gas Europe and will add to its existing affiliate companies in the sector, including Methanergy, PitPoint and Clean Energy.

Total is also looking to expand beyond the European market, signing a memorandum of understanding with Clean Energy late last year to establish a $100 million 50:50 joint venture to develop renewable gas production projects in the US.




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