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CIP reaches deal on MEC-Biogas

CIP reaches deal on MEC-Biogas
The MEC-Biogas plant in Denmark (photo courtesy MEC-Biogas).

In Denmark, Vestforsyning, Struer Energi, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners have announced that the three entities have reached an agreement on the transaction of MEC-Biogas. The purpose of the deal is to create and develop a center for sustainable bioenergy in Holstebro and Struer municipalities.

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Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) will, through its CI Advanced Bioenergy Fund I, invest a 3-digit DKK million in the expansion of the sustainable bioenergy sector in Holstebro and Struer municipalities by investing in the expansion and upgrade of MEC-Biogas.

MEC-Biogas is one of Denmark’s first large-scale industrial biogas plants that today converts around ~500,000 tonnes of manure yearly to raw biogas for power and heat production.

CIP expects to increase the total yearly capacity of sustainable biomass to ~800,000 tonnes and to develop new business models for the plant, including ~30 million Nm3 biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) to be injected into the gas grid and ~40,000 tonnes biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) for the Power-to-X (PtX) industry.

Anchored in the agricultural community

CIP believes that bioenergy projects must be locally anchored, both in terms of their position in the local community and also in terms of contributing to the development of the agricultural sector and its routes for future decarbonization.

As a result of the new investment, CIP expects to create growth and additional jobs in the local community with a solid foundation in the local agricultural sector.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners are looking forward to cooperating with existing and new partners in the local community to create a center for Danish bioenergy. We continue to see a large potential in the efficient conversion of sustainable biomass to green gas and green fuels – and we believe that advanced bioenergy is going to play a vital role in the green transition, especially in the transportation sector. The acquisition and expansion of MEC-biogas with our local partners, Struer Energi and Vestforsyningen, represents an important milestone, and we view it as one of our main projects in the Advanced Bioenergy Fund. We are looking forward to realizing the project, which will significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and create local jobs, said Andreas F. Brandt, Partner at CIP.

Municipality-owned a hinder

Beyond the already planned investments, CIP is looking at future expansion possibilities for the bioenergy center, such as 2nd generation bioethanol and pyrolysis projects.

This has, from the beginning, been one of the fundamental considerations as part of the investment, which is why CIP is now looking into the possibility of establishing a bioethanol plant in Måbjerg.

Both Struer Energi and Vestforsyningen are happy that CIP is ready to acquire and invest a multi-DKK million into developing the Maabjerg Energy Center biogas plant, and especially that CIP views 2nd generation bioethanol and pyrolysis as a future vital part of a sustainable bioenergy center.

We would have loved to be a part of the expansion of renewable energy in this area, however, the regulations on municipality-owned enterprises would constantly have slowed us down, said Kjeld Graversgård, the Chair of the Board at Struer Energi.

The development of the bioenergy sector facilitates the long-term need for energy security and independence in Denmark, as well as the ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the industrial, transportation, and agricultural sectors.

An expansion of the biogas plant calls for upgrading the biogas to be able to inject it into the gas grid. There is not a legal basis for us, as a municipality-owned enterprise, to expand the plant, commented Pernille Bloch, Chair of the Board in Vestforsyningen.

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