"We must stimulate the supply first, since biomethane production is still small," Mendonça said.
Currently there are only three biomethane producers authorised by oil and gas regulator ANP.
Under a recent agreement, sugar company Cocal agreed to supply as much as 90,000m³/d of biomethane to GasBrasiliano for distribution to the city of Presidente Prudente in Sao Paulo state. In Ceará, distributor Cegás is receiving biomethane from the landfill of Caucaia, near state capital Fortaleza, supplied by company Marquise, among others.
Biomethane production is expected to increase roughly sixfold over the next five years to 2.3mn m³/d, up from 400,000 m³/d, Abiogas said. Production could reach 30mn m³ by 2030.
But there are obstacles preventing distributors from adding more biomethane to their supply. Brazil still lacks clear pricing information on biogas and biomethane production, and the country still is taking the first steps to release environmental certificates that could help make biomethane more competitive.