ENGIE, a French energy supplier with a major focus on sustainable energy, through its wholly owned subsidiaries GNVert and LNGeneration is contributing to the development of a new “green gas” sector in France. Bio-LNG (Liquefied Biomethane) offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly fuel solution for the transport sector.
The SIAAP1 wastewater treatment plant in Valenton (Val-de-Marne region), is the site of a pilot project known as “BioGNVAL” involving several partners under the coordination of SUEZ. The first of its kind in France, the initiative uses the plant’s wastewater sludge generated by millions of Parisiennes to produce Bio-LNG and liquefied CO2. A 100% renewable energy source, Bio-LNG is bringing added flexibility to the use of biomethane: in addition to injection into the natural gas grid, significant new growth opportunities are opening up for green mobility and off-grid power generation.
LNG (liquefied natural gas) offers real advantages:
- Environmental: LNG reduces nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by up to 85%2 and emits virtually no fine particulates, compared to gasoline and other traditional fuels. As a renewable energy source, Bio-LNG reduces CO2 by 90%.
- Energy density: Liquefaction reduces the volume per cubic meter of natural gas by a factor of 600. LNG is the solution for compact storage of large amounts of energy. For this reason, LNG-powered vehicles have a longer autonomous range—up to 1,000 km—than gasoline-powered vehicles.
- Economical: Historically, natural gas has been the least expensive energy source. Savings generated by conversion to natural gas, either as a vehicle fuel or for power generation, can be on the order of 25% of an annual budget.
- Speed of implementation: In less than 6 months, ENGIE subsidiaries have the capacity to install LNG for any use (vehicle fuel, electricity generation, etc.).
Finally, as fuel, natural gas (LNG, CNG – compressed natural gas) also cuts engine noise nearly in half. Bio-LNG has the added attractiveness of being a 100% renewable energy source.
ENGIE is contributing to the development of retail LNG and natural gas mobility
As a specialist in the distribution of alternative fuels, GNVert’s role in the “BioGNVAL” project is to convert the liquefied biomethane produced at the site into bio-fuel. In particular, GNVert has conducted tests using Bio-LNG to power LNG engines. The tests were performed in Val- de-Marne, France, at its Rungis LNG/CLNG (compressed liquefied natural gas) filling station, the first of three GNVert liquefied natural gas filling stations built within the framework of the European LNG “Blue Corridors”3 project.
LNGeneration, which specializes in supplying LNG and Bio-LNG to end users, is positioned downstream in the BioGNVAL project; its role is to recover the liquefied biomethane produced. LNGeneration offers its customers a full range of “turnkey” solutions, from delivery of LNG by tanker truck from a LNG terminal to end site, to construction and maintenance of LNG storage and regasification facilities, to sales of LNG and Bio-LNG to end users.
The potential for biomethane production that is not injected into the grid is calculated at 18 TWh by 2030, according to the trend scenario in the ADEME roadmap (French Environmental and Energy Management Agency).
In March 2016, ENGIE announced that it will invest nearly €100 million between now and 2020 in new CNG and LNG filling stations in Europe. The Group has also invested in LNG marine fuel, partnering with NYK and Mitsubishi on the construction of an LNG bunkering vessel and establishing an LNG supply platform in Antwerp for both trucks and ships. ENGIE is leveraging its recognized expertise and, in particular, its 15 years of experience operating 140 CNG filling stations, primarily in France, and commissioning the first four LNG filling stations in France and the Netherlands, to accelerate the development of green gas mobility.
1 SIAAP stands for Syndicat interdépartemental pour l’assainissement de l’agglomération parisienne [Paris regional wastewater authority].
2 Source: Association Française du Gaz Naturel pour Véhicules [French Association for Vehicle Natural Gas – AFGNV].
3 Initiated in 2013 by the European Union to support the LNG sector, the Blue Corridors project is establishing a much-needed network for long-haul transport in Europe, with plans to build 14 new LNG filling stations between 2013 and 2017 to meet a goal of 1 filling station every 400 km, on average.