Energy major Shell has come to a deal worth £1.66 billion to buy the entirety of Danish firm Nature Energy, which is Europe’s largest producer of biogas.
Nature Energy takes waste from industry, agriculture, and households and uses the methane it releases as it decomposes to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). This methane would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere, where it would act as a potent greenhouse gas, so harvesting it instead benefits the environment. Moreover, RNG and traditional natural gas are chemically identical, so it can be used as a drop-in replacement to decarbonise operations based on natural gas, such as in industry, marine and road transport, and heating.
The downstream director at Shell, Huibert Vigeveno, said that the acquisition would:
“…add a European production platform and growth pipeline to Shell’s existing RNG projects in the United States. We will use this acquisition to build an integrated RNG value chain at global scale, at a time when energy transition policies and customer preferences are signalling strong growth in demand in the years ahead.”
Once Shell, which also makes grease and fluids like transmission oil, has secured regulatory approval for the acquisition, possibly by early 2023, it will initially operate Nature Energy and its 420 employees under its current branding as a Shell subsidiary. Shell will also inherit the firm’s 14 plants currently in operation and the infrastructure and supply chain to support them. It will also take on a pipeline of projects for a further 30 plants in both North America and Europe.