UGI International, the European subsidiary of US-headed UGI Corporation (UGI), one of the world’s largest Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distributors, has announced a new exclusive supply and development partnership with Ekobenz Sp.z.o.o, a Polish technology specialized in the catalytic conversion of bioethanol to biogasoline and bioLPG.
Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is most commonly used for industrial processes, off-grid heating, and as a transport fuel. In general, conventional LPG contains less sulphur than other fossil fuels resulting in cleaner combustion, higher efficiency, and less required maintenance.
UGI International employs several brands such as AmeriGas, Antargaz, AvantiGas, DVEP Energie, Flaga, Kosan Gas, and UniverGas. Per the terms of the agreement, UGI International has secured the exclusive rights to Ekobenz’ supply of bioLPG.
The product can be used by all of UGI International’s existing LPG entities operating across Europe, and significantly boosts the company’s portfolio of sustainable fuels.
Exclusive supply of Ecobenz bioLPG
Founded in 2006, Ekobenz is a Polish technology development company that specializes in ethanol-to-gas (EtG) technology. It operates a 22 500 tonnes-per-annum production facility in Bogumiłów where the company transforms second-generation bioethanol into advanced biofuels supplying a global energy company with biogasoline and now UGI International with bioLPG.
BioLPG’s sustainable properties compared to its non-bio counterpart is further strengthened by the fact that Ekobenz uses advanced bioethanol, produced from waste and residues as feedstock in its production of renewable propane-butane (bioLPG).
As well as providing a platform for the growth and wider uptake of bioLPG through UGI International’s strong market presence in Europe, the company is also committed to playing a crucial role in enabling its customers to decarbonise its operations to support the goals of the Paris agreement to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The move also signifies UGI International’s leadership in supporting emerging technologies that have the potential to transform and decarbonise a sector that has been traditionally heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
First shipment to Sweden
Ekobenz is the first and currently only company in Europe that has succeeded in commercializing bioLPG production based on advanced bioethanol produced from waste. The first shipment of bioLPG from Ekobenz’ state of the art research facility in Bogumiłów, Poland, is expected to arrive in Sweden in the spring of this year.
Biomass products produced by Ekobenz can be added to crude oil products without restriction, making them an ideal way to achieve zero emissions in liquid and gaseous fuels by 2050. In addition, all 2020-2050 milestones aimed at zero emissions for liquid and gaseous fuels can be met using the existing distribution system, equipment, and people. Therefore, Ekobenz as a producer of renewable fuels and UGI as a leading LPG distributor meet the conditions for a highly successful partnership that can protect the climate and achieve zero emissions in 2050, said Stanisław Jabłoński, President of Ekobenz.
The partnership with Ekobenz is one of several initiatives that support UGI International´s ambition of aligning and, where possible, surpassing those sustainable targets as set in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II) guidance protocol.
Ekobenz is an excellent opportunity for us to benefit from one of the emerging pathways to a more sustainable future. This initiative is one of many options we are currently pursuing on the path to securing the production of renewable fuels. It is complementary to other business activities in UGI International, which also include renewable wind power and existing bioLPG currently supplied in the Nordic region of Europe. We will continue to ask our Business Development Group to cast the net far and wide to ensure we partner up with the most advanced and appropriate technical initiatives emerging in the market, said Roger Perrault, EVP Global LPG, UGI International.
The unique properties of bioLPG mean that it can be easily combined with traditional conventional LPG and used across the same applications, diluting the carbon footprint per litre and offering a greener alternative that can be used in exactly the same way by customers.
As highlighted by Roger, our increased focus in the bioethanol space represents a major step forward in our relentless search for new and innovative technologies to support our customers on the path towards a more sustainable future. As one of the world’s largest suppliers of LPG, we consider it our mission to be an innovator in offering customers greener and cleaner LPG fuels. The proprietary technology employed by Ekobenz produces very high-quality products at a moderate cost, paving the way for large-scale, commercial production which can be easily expanded in Europe. Together it’s our ambition to pioneer affordable bioLPG for the foreseeable future, said Neil Murphy, VP for Business Development for UGI International.