French biomass group Albioma to open more biogas plants
* Albioma to invest 200 mln euros in 22 biogas plants
* New regulation creates huge market in France
* Firm buys first Brazil bagasse-fired cogeneration plant
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - French biomass group Albioma has launched its first two biogas plants as part of an investment drive to benefit from changing regulation in France, its CEO said on Wednesday.
The company specialises in generating electricity from sugarcane waste in France's overseas territories. It has opened two biogas plants in the region around Poitiers in 2013 and plans to open three or four more this year, of which one will inject purefied methane into the French gas network.
Albioma has a pipeline of 22 methanisation plants, in which it will invest about 200 million euros in coming years. The plants will use manure, agriculture waste and slaughterhouse waste and will be built in France's western and northwestern agricultural regions. The first two plants have capacities of 2 and 0.5 megawatt respectively.
With a combined biogas capacity of about 30 megawatts, France is way behind Germany, which has some 3000 megawatts of biogas capacity in the agricultural sector, Albioma chief excecutive Jacques Petry told Reuters.
"It is a major competitive disadvantage for French farmers. German pig farmers already get 10 to 15 percent of their revenue from anaerobic digestion," Petry said after Albioma released 2013 earnings. Continuación...