In the Netherlands, Grolsche Bierbrouwerij Nederland B.V., a member of Japan-headed beverages major Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, has disclosed its next step towards its goal of being a carbon-neutral brewery by 2025. The company is switching from using fossil gas at its Enschede brewery to buying renewable heat and supplying biomethane, aka renewable natural gas (RNG), to the gas grid instead.
Grolsch beer with its distinguished green bootle is becoming even greener. By the end of this year, more than two-thirds of the heat demand at Grolsch’s Enschede brewery will be met by sustainable heat from the regional waste management company Twence, delivered through a new underground pipeline.
This new heat supply will replace approximately 3 million Nm3 of fossil gas, and biogas from the brewery’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). With this heat supply, not all of Grolsch’s biogas can be used directly for its own heat demand. Therefore, the biogas produced will be upgraded to biomethane in a new biogas upgrading unit at the brewery.
With the arrival of the heat pipeline, it is necessary to give the biogas another use, in which it is still optimally utilized: biomethane is a sustainable, proven efficient application, said Susan Ladrak, Sustainability Manager at Grolsch.
Preparations for the new plant are in full swing. It is expected that biomethane can be delivered to the gas grid from the third quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, the upgrading plant will produce over 1 million Nm3 of biomethane, aka renewable natural gas (RNG).
We are very proud of this step as part of our energy transition, in combination with the projects of our sustainable heat purchase and 100 percent green electricity choice. All of these initiatives bring us a big step closer to our goal of being a carbon-neutral brewery by 2025. In fact, by taking these steps, we are reducing our CO2 emissions within scope 1 and 2 combined by more than 85 percent said Susan Ladrak.
Developing and building biomethane systems contributes to the energy transition of which the Dutch biomass and biogas energy technology provider HoSt is a driving force.
In this regional collaboration, Grolsch delivers the biogas to HoSt, and HoSt supplies the biogas upgrading technology which will remain under HoSt’s ownership and management.
More than half of the biomethane systems in the Netherlands are built by HoSt and energy-as-a-service (EaaS) collaborations like this are becoming more common. This sustainable gas variant plays a key role in the energy transition and through our technologies we are able to provide answers to both the energy and waste issue. Biomethane is highly suitable for the existing gas grid and for taking sustainability steps in existing buildings and in industry. The government strongly stimulates the production of biomethane and there is a great need for alternatives to fossil fuels, said Jelle Klein Teeselink, Managing Director of HoSt Group.
HoSt applies membrane technology in its biogas upgrading systems. In a few efficient steps, the membranes separate the methane (CH4) from the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other components in the raw biogas to bring the methane content to the required level of the gas grid.
In addition, as methane is odorless, the familiar gas odor (THT) is also applied on-site before supplying into the gas grid.
Part of the Dutch government’s plans include mandatory blending targets for gas suppliers to add renewable gas to their supply, but we also see a strong increase in demand internationally on all continents. We are very proud of this collaboration close to home. The Netherlands is not a leader in getting energy from renewable sources, however, the country has high ambitions. Every initiative is a step closer, ended Jelle Klein Teeselink.