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PATRIZIA Infrastructure invests in majority stake in Biomet to support Italy’s drive towards net zero carbon

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PATRIZIA, a leading partner for global real assets, has acquired an 80 percent majority stake in Italian bio-Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) producer Biomet through its European Infrastructure Fund II. 

The circa €75 million deal, which comprises the equity stake and a committed capex programme, marks the debut investment for PATRIZIA’s recently acquired infrastructure business, PATRIZIA Infrastructure. 

Biomet is a vertically integrated bio-LNG producer that will be Europe’s largest plant producing bio-LNG from biomethane from bio-waste. It is currently developing two new, modern facilities that include a biomethane plant and an LNG liquefaction plant, which are both strategically located 40km south of Milan. 

Biomet will be the first plant in Italy that is directly connected to the SNAM national gas transportation network, with an on-site filling station. The facility will also be linked to key highways to intercept the waste flows from central to northern Italy, as well as featuring four plants that produce biomethane by upgrading third-party biogas from agricultural feedstock. 

PATRIZIA Infrastructure has invested in Biomet at a late stage of construction, with the liquefaction facility expected to be commercially operational for summer 2022, the biogas plant for December 2022, and the four biomethane upgrading plants by 2024. Biomet’s biomethane plant currently has capacity for 40,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. 

The liquefaction facility has capacity for 8,800 tonnes of bio-LNG per year, with the potential to increase production to 26,400 tonnes. 

Matteo Andreoletti, head of Infrastructure Equity, Europe and North America at PATRIZIA, said: “We are happy to announce our partnership with Biomet, which will play a crucial role in contributing to the decarbonisation of transport in Italy. Biogas has a critical role to play in the energy transition as well as in supporting local agricultural communities. 

“Not only does our investment in Biomet represent exceptional ESG credentials and opportunities for future growth for our clients, it also continues our long history of successfully partnering with regional infrastructure champions to make a positive impact in our communities. We continue to see excellent investment opportunities in sectors associated with the transition to a cleaner energy system, within mid-market infrastructure.” 

Biogas and bio-LNG are significant contributors to the EU’s policy objectives to reduce primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Italy is the second largest market for biogas in the EU behind Germany, with 2 billion cubic metres produced to date. The fixed production costs of biogas make bio-LNG from waste a competitive and carbon-neutral alternative to conventional LNG, especially for the transport industry. 

The Italian government has recognised the importance of bio-LNG production with a robust incentive scheme with long-term commitment to sustain durable development of this technology. Antonio Barani, CEO and founder of Biomet, said: “Italy has a shortfall of liquefaction plants, when at the same time demand for LNG and bio-LNG is increasing as the need for decarbonisation continues. This is reflected in the regulatory framework and policy backdrop which is increasingly supportive of the need for increased biogas and sustainable fuel sources. 

“Biomet has the ability to lead the way in this sector, being both optimally located and vertically integrated along the entire value chain - from biomethane production from waste, to upgrading, to liquefaction/bio-LNG production and sales at a nearby filling station. Our partnership with PATRIZIA Infrastructure announced today is an important milestone, supporting us on our journey to positioning Biomet as a leading player in the Italian biogas market.” 

PATRIZIA Infrastructure has acquired the stake from Italian gas entrepreneur Walter Lagorio and from AnkorGaz, the vehicle of Biomet CEO and founder, Antonio Barani, who remains a 20 percent minority shareholder. 

PATRIZIA Infrastructure was advised by EY, GOP and Willis Towers Watson, while AnkorGaz was advised by BNP Paribas and White & Case. Belluzzo International Partners handled the tax aspects of the transaction for AnkorGaz.