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First connection contract with a biomethane producer

First signature of a contract to connect to the GRTgaz network by a biomethane producer

26 February 2014

In Chagny (71), GRTgaz and SMET 71 (Syndicat Mixte d’Etudes et de Traitement des déchets ménagers et assimilés du nord-est de la Saône-et-Loire - Joint Organisation for the Study and Treatment of household waste and related materials of the North West Saône-et-Loire) just signed the first contract to connect a biomethane producer to the gas transmission network.

For GRTgaz, this contract is the first result of in-depth work undertaken since 2011.For one year, GRTgaz has also provided project sponsors and biomethane producers with a tool called Réso’Vert on its Website.1. This interactive map can rapidly display the potential for injection into the transmission network and facilitate the statement of requirements from producers on line to start the first exchanges. Today, nearly 200 contacts have been initiated with prospects and 11 design agreements have been signed, two of which should be finalised this year.

SMET71, which processes the household waste produced by 317 municipalities in the eastern Saône-et-Loire, decided to invest in innovative waste2 processing plant (ECOCEA), producing both biomethane and compost for field crops in the region.

Thus, 73,000 tons of waste will be processed in the Chagny methanisation unit every year. The gas produced will be purified to have the same properties as natural gas and will be used by the neighbouring municipalities and industrials. Starting in the beginning of 2015, approximately 18 GWh of biomethane will be injected into the transmission network every year, which represents the average annual consumption of a municipality of 2,800 residents.

Biomethane creates a virtuous circle by making it possible to process waste while producing carbon-free, local, renewable energy. As part of the energy transition, its development prospects are important. A study  conducted in 2013 estimated the volume of biomethane that could be injected into natural gas transmission networks by 2020 at between 3 and 6 TWh.

1 Go to the Réso'Vert map
2 Website for the ECOCEA plant construction project
3 Toward a 100% carbon free gas supply network (E-Cube Strategy Consultant – July 2013)