Ignitis is first firm to import biomethane into Lithuania
Haroldas Nausėda, head of B2B clients and expansion, said that biomethane is a "more sustainable alternative" to fossil fuels, which meets the natural gas standard completely. It possesses an equivalent chemical formula (CH4), but its extraction is far more environmentally friendly.
Biomethane can also be used in electricity generation, for heating buildings or as a fuel for transport vehicles. Companies that choose biomethane as an alternative, can increase their competitive advantage. Ignitis said it is, first and foremost, focused on developing renewable energy products, therefore, the first such transaction in the region is a new milestone and the birth of a new business market, which will become an important alternative to natural gas in the future.
“We will import biomethane from the Netherlands. Even though biomethane can be purchased globally, according to the highest standards, the importing and exporting parties must be connected via a common gas network. This means that the biomethane molecule entering the gas network must be able to travel to Lithuania and the customer’s gas consumption points. In this case, we ensure uninterrupted supply chain between the Netherlands and Lithuania. The gas will travel through the pipelines of the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Lithuania – this requires managing quite complex processes,” commented Nausėda.
According to Saulius Bilys, head of strategic development at SG Dujos, with the launch of biomethane imports, vehicle fleets that use natural gas (methane) can already fully replace them with zero emissions fuel.
“We aim to help the fleet managers we service to adapt to the Green Deal established by the EU and start using only carbon neutral fuel. Today we reached a historical milestone because, starting from this month, our customers, the majority of whom are public transport fleets, will use biomethane only. We hope that, in the nearest future, we will be able not just import biomethane, but also we will have biomethane plants in Lithuania,” said Bilys.
Ignitis will supply biomethane to the customer throughout November and December and is currently negotiating with partners and biomethane producers about uninterrupted biomethane supply in 2023. The company is hoping that, next year, it will also be able to offer greener gas produced in Lithuania.
Biomethane is extracted from natural materials or waste which releases a variety of chemical elements during putrefaction. During the process of putrefaction, the gas is not released into the atmosphere, but is collected, purified and supplied to the network. This method, contrary to extraction of natural gas from the ground, does not release a large amount of greenhouse gas into the environment.
Currently, Germany is leading in biogas and biomethane production. According to International Energy Agency data, in 2010–2018 Germany had the largest share of installed biogas production capacities, and biogas is produced using biomethane.
Both Ignitis and SG Dujos received ISCC certification (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) while developing biomethane trading practices, which is necessary to conduct biomethane trading.