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Suez starts construction of biomethane injection plant in France

Published 09 March 2018

Suez, through its subsidiary SERAMM, has started construction of a biomethane production and injection plant, produced from wastewater treatment process in Marseille, France.

Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area, SUEZ, the French Water Agency, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region invest €9.2m in the conversion of part of Marseille’s Géolide wastewater treatment plant, with the aim of producing enough biomethane to supply 2,500 households from January 2019.

As the company manages the wastewater treatment system for Marseille urban area and four other municipalities1 in the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area, SUEZ provides local solutions to improve its customers’ economic and environmental performance. Thus, in Marseille, SUEZ invest the conversion of its sewage sludge treatment plant, located in Sormiou quarry since 1987, to launch the biggest biomethane production project ever seen in France.

From 1 January 2019, the biogas produced in the sludge digestion process will be collected, converted into biomethane and injected into the public natural gas network at a rate of 2.3 million Nm3 a year2. The facility has been designed with a future extension in mind, allowing for a rate of 3.8 million Nm3/year, which will make it the largest in France.  

Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area will be able to produce enough green energy to supply about 2,500 households. This biomethane – in compressed form – could also, in the longer term, be used as a biofuel for public transport running on natural gas (NGV).  

The new biomethane production plant will offer several environmental benefits. Indeed, the proportion of recoverable biogas will increase by 35% while CO2 emissions should drop by 30%.

Suez CEO Jean-Louis Chaussade said: "In partnership with its local authority and industrial customers, SUEZ is planning to increase its production of biomethane in France by 30 to 50% by 2020. This new plant shows that Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area is working towards the same goal as our Group – taking immediate, concrete action to promote the circular economy."

Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area president and Marseille Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin said : “This facility will enable our metropolitan area to produce a more environmentally friendly green energy. Aix-Marseille-Provence takes action in a wide range of areas including transport, economic development, the energy transition and a better quality of life for our residents.”

Source: Company Press Release