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First ever injection of biomethane into France's gas transmission network

For the first time, biomethane produced by processing local household waste at the SMET 711 factory is being injected into the GRTgaz transmission network.

This historic event is taking place in Chagny (in the Saône-et-Loire département, Eastern France). Injecting biomethane into the transmission network will provide gas consumers (manufacturers and domestic consumers connected up to the distribution networks) with access to renewable energy, but without the need to modify their facilities.

The production of Biomethane by a public body, the SMET 71, its transmission via GRTgaz's network and its subsequent use by a locally-based manufacturer, TERREAL, is an excellent example of the circular economy. Starting in 2016, 28 GWh/year of biomethane will be produced at the Chagny site from some 73,000 tonnes of waste and then injected into the gas transmission network. This quantity of renewable gas, produced by the biggest biométhane facility in France, is equivalent to the annual consumption of 120 buses or 2,500 gas-heated homes2.

GRTgaz, a major player in the energy transition process, is making every effort to create the conditions needed in order to develop this new energy. To date, more than 70 projects have been looked into and over the last few months 16 agreements have been signed. GRTgaz is intending to develop 3 to 5 projects per year over the next few years, the aim being to have up to 1,000 GWh/year of biomethane injected into its network by 2020.

During the opening ceremony at Chagny, the 17th of September, Thierry Trouvé – CEO of GRTgaz – said: "This initial injection shows just how determined GRTgaz's teams are to making our expertise and gas infrastructure available to the manufacturing sector and to local authorities so that they can reap the benefits of biomethane – a new form of renewable energy."

1 SMET 71: the Saône-et-Loire's Syndicat Mixte d’Etudes et de Traitement – a joint association tasked with processing household waste and other comparable material.
2 Hypotheses: annual consumption of a buse – 225 MWh/year ; gas-heated homes – 12 MWh/an.