SUEZ and Waga Energy commission fifth biogas unit
Recovering RNG from biogas sourced from the fermentation of waste within landfills is a growing challenge in terms of waste management and ecological transition on a local level. The Madaillan landfill run by SUEZ in Milhac-d’Auberoche processes around 105,000 tons of household waste each year, and until recently recovered the biogas produced by the breakdown of waste in the form of heat and electricity. To take the production of renewable energy one step further, SUEZ decided to join forces with Waga Energy to set up a RNG production unit.
For its landfill in Milhac-d’Auberoche, SUEZ opted for WAGABOX® technology, developed and patented by Waga Energy. The result of ten years of development, this innovative technology recovers gas from landfills in the form of RNG, a renewable substitute for fossil-based natural gas.
The WAGABOX® technology combines membrane filtration and cryogenic distillation to separate the energy-rich gas from the other components (carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and volatile organic compounds). This high-quality RNG is then directly injected into natural gas grids and marketed by SUEZ to meet users’ needs in terms of heating, cooking, hot domestic water or to supply vehicles.
At the Madaillan site, SUEZ will produce – thanks to the WAGABOX® technology – up to 88,000 MMBtu (20 GWh) per year of RNG, equivalent to the annual consumption of over 3,000 local households, saving 3,500 tons of CO2eq emissions each year through the substitution of RNG for fossil-based natural gas.
Since 2017, four other WAGABOX® units have been commissioned in France (in Saint-Maximin, Gueltas, Chevilly and Ventes-de-Bourse). A sixth unit is currently under construction at the landfill in Montois-la-Montagne. With a combined installed capacity of 480,000 MMBtu (140 GWh) per year, these six units will supply over 20,000 French households with renewable gas, thereby saving 23,000 tons of CO2eq emissions per year.
The construction of the WAGABOX® unit in Milhac-d’Auberoche was funded by Waga Energy and Meridiam. This is the third WAGABOX® project to benefit from the support of the company specialising in the long-term management and funding of sustainable infrastructure. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region also contributed €400,000 to help fund this local ecological transition project.
According to Guillaume Bomel, general manager for infrastructure at SUEZ, Recycling & Recovery France: “Given the current context amid high tensions over energies, particularly gas, waste is an available resource that could help us achieve energy independence while addressing environmental and climate-change issues. The fact that SUEZ opted for the innovative WAGABOX® solution ties in entirely with the Group’s commitment to recovering RNG, a local, renewable, carbon-free energy which helps to promote energy and ecological transition on a local level.”
According to Mathieu Lefebvre, CEO of Waga Energy: “SUEZ is one of the first operators to have placed its trust in Waga Energy to produce RNG at its landfills. With this new project, Waga Energy and SUEZ are actively helping to tackle climate change and to promote local energy independence. It’s a great example of a successful partnership between an innovative young company and a major international corporation, and provides further evidence of French industrial expertise in waste processing and recovery”.