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Verdalia Bioenergy to acquire seven Italian RNG plants

Verdalia Bioenergy to acquire seven Italian RNG plants
Verdalia Bioenergy Ltd (Verdalia) has agreed to acquire seven biomethane plants in Italy from Green Arrow Capital and Lazzari & Lucchini (photo courtesy Verdalia).

UK-headed Verdalia Bioenergy Ltd, a European biomethane company founded by the infrastructure funds of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Fernando Bergasa and Cristina Ávila, has announced an agreement to acquire a portfolio of operating biomethane plants in Italy from funds controlled by Green Arrow Capital, a leading Italian alternative investment manager, and Lazzari & Lucchini, a leading energy developer.

Verdalia Bioenergy was launched in February 2023 by Fernando Bergasa and Cristina Ávila, executives with a strong track record of value creation and operational excellence in the natural gas sector, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, aiming to invest over EUR 1 billion to develop, acquire, own and operate biomethane plants across Europe by 2026.

In March 2023, Verdalia completed its first acquisition of a portfolio of biomethane aka renewable natural gas (RNG) projects under development in Spain, with a total capacity of around 150 GWh/year.

Since its inception, Verdalia has made significant progress, with a team of 50 people today and a pipeline of mid to late-stage development projects in Spain and Italy of over 2.5 TWh.

Seven RNG plants

According to a statement, the agreed portfolio consists of seven plants located in the province of Brescia, with an approximate combined production capacity of 190 GWh of biomethane derived from a processing capacity of 350,000 tonnes of raw materials per year, with a scope to expand by more than 50 percent.

The plants have started operations on different dates in the last four years and produce biomethane solely through the processing of animal residues and agricultural by-products not intended for human consumption.

This deal, which is subject to the completion of certain standard conditions for this type of transaction, accelerates Verdalia’s development in Europe, further contributes to Italy’s decarbonization and energy independence agenda, and will allow Verdalia to become one of the largest operators of agricultural biomethane plants in the country.

We are very pleased with the progress made in the past twelve months: we have initiated the development of an extensive portfolio of projects in Spain, built a very strong team, and entered a new market, in Italy. We believe Italy is at the forefront of the European decarbonization agenda through biomethane with a supportive regulatory framework and are proud to demonstrate our commitment to the country’s energy transition plan through this important investment, said Fernando Bergasa, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Verdalia Bioenergy.

The acquisition of the portfolio solidifies Verdalia’s presence in Europe and positions the company as one of the leading biomethane players in the continent with a high-quality infrastructure business model.

The portfolio we are acquiring comprises seven biomethane plants, and will be the stepping stone towards building strong operations in Italy. We continue to develop our expansion in Europe as we embark on this exciting chapter for Verdalia, said Cristina Ávila, Co-Founder, President and COO of Verdalia Bioenergy.

Verdalia will look into expanding the portfolio’s production capacity and monetizing the by-products including bio-fertiliser and biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) under offtake agreements.

Verdalia continues to seek new opportunities to expand by acquiring projects in operation and under development, establishing partnerships with EPCs, and long-term agreements with off-takers and feedstock providers while growing its team.

We are excited about the progress made by Verdalia, demonstrating once again Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s track record in being an early mover in investing in energy transition and scaling up successful platforms. We look forward to continuing to invest in European biomethane and attract talent to work with Verdalia’s top-class management team, commented Matteo Botto Poala, Managing Director in the Infrastructure business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

For this acquisition, Verdalia Bioenergy was advised by Intesa Sanpaolo (M&A), Ashurst (legal), EY (financial and tax), Ramboll (technical and commercial), and ERM (environmental).

Green Arrow and Lazzari & Lucchini were advised by MFZ Partners (M&A) and Parola Associati (legal).

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