29 June, 2012

GoBiGas och Swedegas enter into agreement

The difficulty of transporting biogas over long distances looks as if it is about to be resolved. Previously, biogas was transported mainly in gas canisters on the back of a truck. An expensive and time-consuming process that often impacted seriously on the profitability and environmental benefits of biogas production. GoBiGas in Gothenburg is now investing in transport in the grid to reach a larger market, including industry.

According to industry figures, around 10 per cent of all biogas is 'flared' because of the lack of an infrastructure through to the customer. 'Flaring' means that biogas is burned off at the production site without being used.

The two Gothenburg-based companies Swedegas and Gothenburg Energy have entered an agreement to transport biogas in the existing gas grid, which runs from Dragör in Denmark to Stenungsund in Sweden. At present, the grid is only used to transport natural gas.

"By transporting biogas in the gas grid currently being used for natural gas, the biogas producers will reach a larger market with a subsequent increase in demand. As a result, they are able to sell all the gas they produce and in doing so improve profitability," states Swedegas CEO Lars Gustafsson.

"The GoBiGas Project is an important and extremely tangible component in the readjustment towards a more sustainable society. Delivering biogas into the grid on this scale offers us more opportunities to use biogas and opens up a path that more can follow," states Åsa Burman, GoBiGas Project Manager.

The biogas in the GoBiGas Project (Gothenburg Biomass Gasification Project) will be extracted from forest residue by means of thermal gasification. GoBiGas will be one of the world's largest and most modern biogas facilities and grid injection is scheduled to begin in autumn 2013.

"What we are seeing is a shift in views on what type of infrastructure is required for biogas to make its long-awaited breakthrough. The gas grid holds enormous prospects for the biogas industry and we are working actively to offer small and large-scale biogas producers the opportunity to connect up to the existing gas grid and in doing so secure an outlet for their gas on a larger market.

"Industry has shown considerable interest in using biogas for operational purposes but up to now it has not been able to secure a sufficient supply," concludes Lars Gustafsson.

Swedegas owns and runs the Swedish natural gas grid, which extends from Dragör in Denmark to Stenungsund in Sweden. Each year, Swedegas transports energy equivalent to 15-17 TWh to the market. The gas grid supplies natural gas to 33 municipal areas, several power stations and a number of major companies. In industry, natural gas is used both as a raw material and as fuel. Swedegas is also focusing on the transportation of biogas in the system in the near future.


For further information, please contact: Saila Horttanainen, Corporate Communications Manager, Swedegas +46 70 622 7606 or saila.horttanainen@swedegas.se

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