Photo: EnviTec Biogas

Source: EviTec Biogas press release

Two biogas plant operators pull together with a joint venture notarised on Nobember 22. Leipzig-based BALANCE Erneuerbare Energien GmbH – a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG – and biogas all-rounder EnviTec Biogas AG, based in Lower Saxony, intend to jointly produce and market CO2-free fuel for commercial and heavy-duty transport as independent supplier. The bio-LNG liquefaction plant (Liquefied Natural Gas) is planned to be constructed in Brandenburg, near Berlin by the newly established company BALANCE EnviTec Bio-LNG GmbH. In addition to the actual liquefaction of biomethane it will have storage tanks and a filling station for tanker trucks.

“With our cooperation, we want to set an important milestone in the decarbonisation of the transport sector,” says Olaf von Lehmden, CEO of EnviTec Biogas AG. Thomas Fritsch, Managing Director of BALANCE adds: “We are pleased to announce that, in future, we will be able to liquefy biomethane in our own facility thus creating bio-LNG, enabling us to bring it to the fuel market. It is only with CO2 neutral fuel that commercial and heavy-duty transport can make its contribution to achieving climate targets.” The joint venture’s plant will be constructed in accordance with the latest state of the art measures to ensure almost energy-neutral operation and will produce about 100 tons of bio-LNG per day from Q4 2023. These quantities will make it possible to operate an average of up to 1,800 LNG trucks in an environmentally friendly manner annually.

The joint construction and operation of the liquefaction plant will enable two of Germany’s leading biogas plant operators to produce bio-LNG from their biomethane and bring this onto the market. Bio-LNG is mainly used for medium and heavy-duty trucks that have to travel longer distances. “We’ve already had inquiries from filling station chains and the logistics industry, as well as from other companies that want to convert their fleets to bio-LNG, which is as low-emission as it gets,” says von Lehmden. This is because the RED II directive, which is now in force, means fuel distributors are obliged to achieve a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of their products by 2030.

Olaf von Lehmden and Janina Goller are the two managing directors of BALANCE EnviTec Bio-LNG GmbH. Source: Anika Dollmeyer.

In addition to using self-generated biomethane, the joint venture will purchase biomethane from now on and onwards. Further the joint venture will be able to provide a service option to liquefy biomethane from other biomethane producers. “This means we can either buy the biomethane from plant operators or, provide liquefaction plant capacity in order for them to market the resulting products itself,” Fritsch continues.

EnviTec Biogas AG covers the entire value-added chain for the production of biogas. This includes the planning and turnkey construction of biogas facilities and biogas conditioning plants as well as the commissioning of such plants. If required, the company provides biological and technical services and offers operational management. EnviTec operates 75 of its own plants, making it one of the largest producers of biogas in Germany. Its business activities also include the direct marketing of processed biomethane as well as electricity and control energy marketing. The company is active in 16 countries worldwide with its own companies, sales offices, strategic alliances and joint ventures. In 2020, the EnviTec Group generated sales of EUR 192.3 million and EBT of EUR 17.2 million. The Group currently employs a total of more than 500 people. EnviTec Biogas AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.

BALANCE Erneuerbare Energien GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG. The company bundles VNG’s activities in the field of alternative energies and energy efficiency technologies. In doing so, BALANCE focuses on comprehensive professional project development and participation in biogas and biomethane projects. The company currently employs around 140 people. Management responsibility is shared by Thomas Fritsch and Friedrich Nollau.

VNG is a group of over 20 companies active in the European energy industry with a broad, future-oriented portfolio of products and services in gas and infrastructure, and more than 60 years of experience in the energy market. The Group has its headquarters in Leipzig, Germany, employs approximately 1,300 people and generated billed revenue of approximately EUR 9.8 billion in the 2020 financial year. VNG concentrates on four links in the gas value chain: Trading & Sales, Transport, Storage and Biogas. Building on this core expertise in the gas business, the Group’s ‘VNG 2030+’ strategy places a growing focus on new business segments, including ‘green gases’ and digital infrastructure