Naturgy goes one step further in its strategy to boost renewable gas and will, in collaboration with AEMA Servicios Energéticos, construct a new biomethane plant in the Valencian district of Utiel which will have the capacity to produce 20 GWh per year. The project’s construction will commence shortly as it has the environmental licence and planning permission granted by Utiel Town Council and will entail an investment of €2.7 million. Its start up date is planned for the beginning of 2025.
The Utiel plant will use agri-industrial waste and will have the capacity to supply 5,300 homes with gas that is renewable and can be fed into the distribution network, preventing the emission of more than 4,300 tonnes of CO2 eq/year into the atmosphere.
The project is aligned to the Valencia Biogas Route, which promotes the construction of around one hundred renewable gas plants in the region, to produce 65% of the gas consumed by Valencian homes. Silvia Sanjoaquín, director of New Business at Naturgy, explained, “The Utiel plant is one step further in Naturgy’s strategy to lead the promotion of biomethane, a renewable gas with enormous potential to transform our current energy model”.
The Utiel plant will be the fifth biomethane plant developed and operated by Naturgy, consolidating the Group as one of the main developers of renewable gas in Spain, with more than 60 projects at various stages of development. The company already has two of its own biomethane production plants in operation: one at the Bens wastewater treatment plant (A Coruña), and another in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), which was the first in Spain to feed renewable gas produced in landfill into the network.
A third plant, located in the livestock farm at Porgaporcs de Vila-Sana (Lleida), which is currently in the final stage of construction, will be added in the next few months, and there is a fourth in progress at Torrefarrera (Lleida). The group also recently signed an agreement to acquire the entire biomethane production at the Bioenergía Vallés Oriental (BioVO) project, in the Barcelona district of Granollers.
AEMA, on the other hand, has an operational waste treatment plant in Vall d’Uxó (Castellón), using an anaerobic digestion process to produce biogas, which is harnessed with a cogeneration engine to produce electricity and thermal energy.
About renewable gas
Renewable gas is a green energy with a neutral, or even negative, emissions balance and is fully interchangeable with natural gas, meaning that it can be distributed along the existing gas infrastructure and used with the same energy appliances in homes, industries, businesses and transport mobility, thereby contributing to decarbonisation. This gas is key to progressing with the energy transition, while at the same time contributing to increasing the country’s energy security and enabling better urban, industrial and agri-food waste management.
The production of renewable gases is aligned with the recently approved REPowerEU package, the European plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to advance the green transition. Within this plan, the biomethane injected into the network will play a key role in substituting the use of natural gas in the coming years.
However, this renewable gas still has development potential in Spain, requiring support mechanisms for its production like those already effective in neighbouring countries such as France and Germany. Spain ranks third in Europe in terms of production potential for this clean gas and could produce an amount equivalent to 40% of conventional gas consumption, according to a recent report published by Sedigas.