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Total becomes major RNG player in France with Fonroche Biogaz acquisition

France-headed oil, gas, and energy major Total S.A. has announced the acquisition of compatriot Fonroche Biogaz, a company within Groupe Fonroche that designs, builds, and operates anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in France. With close to 500 GWh of annual renewable natural gas (RNG) production across seven facilities and a pipeline of four imminent projects, the company has already a 10 percent market share.

Total S.A. has announced the acquisition of compatriot Fonroche Biogaz, a company within Groupe Fonroche that designs, builds, and operates anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in France. The company has close to 500 GWh of annual renewable natural gas (RNG) production across seven facilities such as the BioQuercy plant (photo courtesy Fonroche Biogaz).

Drawing on the expertise of its 85 employees, Fonroche Biogaz has developed industrial and technological expertise across the entire renewable gas value chain. Its integration marks a significant step in Total’s development on the renewable gas market, with prospects for rapid growth on the French market and for international deployment.

We are proud to join the Total Group, which has shown strong vision and ambition, by launching a massive and sustainable investment program in renewable energies. Our integrated business model combined with Total’s strength and global reach gives us a positive and sustainable outlook for the future. Their excellent track record in the solar sector –  both in terms of the duration of their investments and their strong growth – has confirmed our decision to combine the expertise of Fonroche Biogaz teams with this French energy major, said Yann Maus, President, and Founder of Fonroche Group.

Expanding biomethane position

With this acquisition, Total becomes a major player in renewable gas in France and Europe and significantly strengthens its presence in the sector, already effective through its affiliates Méthanergy, combined heat and power (CHP) production from biogas, along with PitPoint, and Clean Energy Fuels Corporation with biomethane production and distribution via a network of bioCNG/bioLNG stations in Benelux and the United States (US) respectively.

In December 2020, Total signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Clean Energy to establish a US$100 million 50/50 joint venture to develop renewable gas production projects in the United States (US). By 2030, Total plans to produce 4 to 6 TWh of biomethane per annum.

This acquisition is consistent with our strategy and our climate ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050. We believe that renewable gas has a key role to play in the energy transition as it contributes to reducing the carbon intensity of natural gas – and we support the imposition of renewable gas incorporation in natural gas networks. In 2020, we stated our intention to contribute to the development of this sector, which we expect to become more competitive in the next few years. We intend to produce TWh of biomethane a year by 2025 and Fonroche Biogas is, therefore, the cornerstone of our development in this market, explained Philippe Sauquet, President Gas, Renewables & Power at Total.

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