Innovative Partnership Brings $68M Biomethane Plant to Gas Network Ireland

gas networks ireland has published the biomethane energy report

Gas Networks Ireland aims for a net-zero carbon gas network by 2050, playing a crucial role in transitioning Ireland to cleaner energy. (Credit: Gas Network Ireland)

by | May 31, 2024

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Gas Networks Ireland has partnered with renewable energy company Bia Energy to connect a $68 million biomethane gas plant to the national gas network. This collaboration will establish Dublin’s first renewable gas entry point, linking Bia Energy’s anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Huntstown, Co. Dublin, to the network.

The Huntstown Facility

The Huntstown plant will convert food waste from the greater Dublin area into biomethane. Gas Networks Ireland confirmed that renewable biomethane gas is fully compatible with the existing national gas network and all current gas appliances, technologies, and vehicles.

According to Gas Networks Ireland, Bia Energy’s facility will “play a significant role in decarbonizing the national gas network and can be a model for further investment in the growing biomethane sector.”

Last year, Bia Energy’s parent company, Sretaw Group, acquired the facility, which is being reconfigured to process various organic materials, such as food waste, food processing residues, and agricultural waste. The plant does not currently produce biomethane but will be converted to do so.

The facility will also produce biofertilizer, which can replace conventional chemical fertilizers for farmers. Brendan Traynor, Bia Energy’s managing director, stated that the company is partnering with local farmers to supply this biofertilizer, which is expected to replace 7,000 tons of chemical fertilizer annually.

“Bia Energy’s Dublin plant is set to contribute up to 120GWh of biomethane annually to the national gas network, more than doubling the biomethane volume injected in 2023 and reducing nearly 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year,” Traynor said.

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue attended the partnership launch and noted that the facility aligns with the government’s National Biomethane Strategy. “This facility demonstrates how, by working with local farmers and leveraging the expertise of Gas Networks Ireland, Bia Energy shares the government’s ambition to turn organic waste into valuable resources,” McConalogue said.

Growth of the Biomethane Sector

Gas Networks Ireland will support the growth of the biomethane sector by extending the national gas network to Bia Energy’s facility and developing a biomethane network entry point on site. This will enable the direct injection of the produced biomethane into the national network.

David Kelly, Gas Networks Ireland’s director of customer and business development, emphasized biomethane’s importance in the gas network’s short-term decarbonization. “Replacing natural gas with biomethane in the short term is a crucial first step in decarbonizing the gas network. Biomethane can play an important role in meeting the state’s 2030 emissions reduction target, and having increased volumes of biomethane on the national gas network will enable businesses to procure this renewable gas to decarbonize their operations,” Kelly added.

Gas Networks Ireland ensures a safe and reliable energy supply for over 720,000 customers while preparing for a future where renewable gases will support Ireland’s transition to a net-zero energy system.

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