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Infortar and Alexela expand biomethane production

Infortar and Alexela started expanding the biomethane plants located in Oisu in Järva County and Ilmatsalu in Tartu County, as a result of which the plants can accept more food waste than before.

"We are taking the next step in local gas production - if until now we mainly produced biomethane from animal manure, now we can use food industry and other biodegradable residues as raw material more than before. This gives the food industries wider opportunities to participate in the circular economy," said Kristjan Stroom, CEO of Eesti Biogaas OÜ, a joint company of Alexela and Infortar. "Biomethane plants leave no footprints and solve several formulas at the same time - after agricultural and food industry waste, the next problem to tackle could be the reception and processing of urban residents' bio-waste, the plants are technically ready for this, in addition, it requires adaptation of national regulations, decisions of municipalities and organisation of logistics".

The production capacity of the three green gas plants opened two years ago with the support of a EUR 30 million investment will increase by a third after the expansion works, thus increasing the role of Eesti Biogaas as the largest producer of biomethane in the Baltics in achieving the goals of the green revolution. During the expansion, digesters and production equipment will be added. Construction works at the stations will be carried out by EG Ehitus.

The major customers of biomethane are the public transport companies of the cities Tartu, Rakvere and Pärnu, biomethane can be purchased as motor fuel at all Eesti Gaas and Alexela gas stations across Estonia. The annual amount of manure of one dairy cow can produce 200 kg of biomethane, which can be used to drive 5,000 km. In one household, 130 kg of biowaste is generated during the year, and the biomethane produced from it can drive a car 200 km.

Biomethane is a clean and high-quality motor fuel suitable for all CNG vehicles. The performance of an engine running on biomethane is the same as a gasoline engine, but it works more quietly and consumes significantly less fuel, the price of which is also 2-3 times cheaper. In addition to public transport, domestic passenger and freight transport could also be switched to green gas. Switching to local biomethane is today the only existing climate-neutral and competitive solution in the passenger and freight transport sectors to achieve the 2030 climate goals.

Biomethane, or green gas, is produced mainly from biodegradable waste, manure, urine and food waste. During the additional processing and purification of biogas, biomethane, or green gas, with a calorific value similar to natural gas is produced. Biomethane is the cleanest and most soot-free fuel that can be used in transport, only carbon dioxide and water vapor are released when burning biomethane. The residue of the fermentation process of the biomethane plant, or digestate, is transported to a storage or lagoon and from there to the field. Digestate is a high-quality and certified organic fertilizer from which plants can easily acquire nitrogen and phosphorus. Unlike manure, digestate has no smell and a lot of harmful methane remains unreleased into the environment.


Eesti Gaas triples gas supplies

Eesti Gaas, the largest private energy company in the Baltic states and Finland, will more than triple its LNG supplies this year – compared to last year's five LNG cargoes, the company will bring 16 shiploads of LNG to the region this year.

"One third of the LNG imports to the Baltic region and Finland come through Eesti Gaas - large volumes and direct contracts with the leading LNG suppliers allow us to offer our customers reliable and affordable supplies and increase our market share," said Margus Kaasik, Chairman of the Managment Board of Eesti Gaas.

"In less than a year, we made a complete turnaround to LNG of Western origin, the new supply routes from Norway and the United States were established and work well today, this has given the regional gas market more security and also helped bring down the price,“ Kaasik noted.

"Heading towards the new heating season, our gas consumers can have peace of mind - European gas storages are full and there will be enough gas. Towards winter, the price of gas is expected to rise somewhat, but according to all assumptions, the upcoming winter will be easier for consumers than the previous one," said Kaasik.

Of the LNG deliveries ordered by Eesti Gaas this year, four have come to Lithuania's Klaipeda and eight to Finland's Inkoo terminal. Until the end of the year, one more cargo to Klaipeda and three to Inkoo have been agreed. The company's major supply partners are the international energy groups Vitol and Total and Equinor of Norwegian origin. Eesti Gaas was the first to start using the new Finnish Inkoo terminal.

From last autumn's peak price of 2.85 euros/m³, the price for Eesti Gaas' household customers has fallen by more than 84 percent to 0.46 euros/m3 today. Larger gas price reductions took place in December of last year and in February of this year, when Eesti Gaas reduced the price of natural gas by 35 and 50 percent, respectively.

Operating in five markets - Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – Eesti Gaas grew last year to become the largest private energy company in the Baltic and Finland region. The company offers its customers natural gas in the form of pipeline gas, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and manages the largest gas network in Estonia and Latvia. Eesti Gaas is actively engaged in international energy trade and develops a renewable energy portfolio in the form of solar energy and biomethane production and sales. On export markets the company carries Elenger name.