Ara Partners, a private equity firm specialised in industrial decarbonisation investments, has acquired Spanish company FNX Liquid Natural Gas to form CycleØ Group, a European biomethane platform.
CycleØ, led by Laurence Molke as CEO, will actively develop and operate biomethane projects across Europe. The company will capture, process and upgrade naturally occurring methane gas produced by the agri-food and livestock industries to produce biomethane, which can be used as a valuable green energy resource in any application as a direct substitute for traditional natural gas.
FNX, located in Bilbao, has extensive experience in biogas capture and conversion via compression and liquefaction technologies for vehicular and industrial applications, as well as injection directly into existing pipelines.
The company’s initial projects include an operating plant in Vilanant, which is Spain’s first biogas-to-vehicle CNG project; an operating plant in Faenza, Italy, which is one of the largest bio-LNG plants in Europe and the first bio-G2V-LNG project in Italy, and a project in late-stage development in Catalonia, which will be among the first biogas-to-grid projects in Spain.
“At this critical juncture in battling climate change, the efficient capture and productive use of biomethane is among the most effective ways to create a reliable, sustainable and green energy resource and directly reduce the polluting greenhouse gases that are damaging our planet,” said Molke.
“Ara’s sole strategic investment focus on decarbonisation and its expertise in supporting high growth companies make them a uniquely valuable partner, as we rapidly scale our team and level of activity across Europe.”
Christopher Picotte, a partner at Ara, commented: “Laurence [Molke] has a long and highly successful track record as a developer of industrial-scale renewable energy projects in Europe. He and his team have developed and built pioneering projects in the use of biomass and direct carbon capture.
“Farming is essential to Europe economically and culturally. We are pleased to be working with CycleØ to build a business that will make an immediate and material contribution to meeting Europe’s climate objectives while supporting one of its most vital sectors as it becomes more sustainable and circular in its methods of production.”