Northern Ireland to inject biomethane into SGN Natural Gas network

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Northern Ireland's gas grids will see the injection of biomethane into the SGN Natural Gas network this year, via a unique collaboration with Granville Eco Park, part of the Bio Capital Group and based in Dungannon.
Biomethane can be used as a direct replacement for traditional natural gas in the existing gas network infrastructure, which allows for a seamless transition to a net zero carbon energy source for consumers in the west of Northern Ireland. Biomethane is produced from organic waste materials such as agricultural and food waste.
David McKee, chief technical officer at Bio Capital, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with SGN Natural Gas on the first biomethane to grid project in Northern Ireland that will tangibly benefit the environment.
"Our company is passionate about the effective delivery of a circular economy approach designed to eliminate waste in businesses and in society as a whole. Pioneering ideas such as this will play a key role in realising the ambitions of the Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.”
David Butler, director at SGN Natural Gas, outlined the importance of this first step. He commented: “Entering into an agreement with Granville Eco Park is a monumental day for the natural gas networks in Northern Ireland.
"We anticipate that, by late 2023, biomethane will begin to be injected into our infrastructure in Dungannon. This will effectively see a 100% renewable energy source flowing through our systems without the need for a consumer to change a single piece of equipment in their home, resulting in a true example of just transitioning into a net zero future.”
Research led by Queens University in 2022 found there to be approximately 6000 GWh worth of biomethane in Northern Ireland, which would account for more than 80% of the region's gas distribution network demand. This means there are considerably greater volumes of the renewable gas available than previously thought. Furthermore, using biomethane produced via anaerobic digestion could reduce CO2 emissions in Northern Ireland by an estimated 845,000 tonnes per year.

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