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Ignitis first to import biomethane in Lithuania

The Lithuanian state-owned energy exploration and production company, Ignitis, will be the first company in Lithuania to import and supply biomethane to business customers in November.

Biomethane is a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, which fully meets the natural gas standards, according to Ingitis’s Head of B2B Clients and Expansion, Haroldas Nausėda. It has an equivalent chemical formula (CH4), however, its extraction is much more environmentally-friendly. In addition, biomethane can be used in electricity generation, heating buildings and as a fuel for transport vehicles.

As Ignitis’s press release states, companies that choose biomethane as an alternative can increase their competitive advantage. Developing renewable energy products is at the forefront of Ignitis’s agenda – therefore, the move towards biomethane is a significant milestone for the company.

This development gives birth to a new business area in the international energy markets, becoming an increasingly important alternative to natural gas as Europe heads closer towards reaching net zero in 2050.

“We will import biomethane from the Netherlands,” said MrNausėda. “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 an 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.”

The first company that will replace natural gas with biomethane is SG dujos, a Lithuania-headquartered pioneer in the application of compressed natural gas as fuel in the Lithuanian transport system.

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,” added Mr Bilys. “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.”

Ignitis will supply biomethane to the customer throughout November and December, and is currently negotiating with partners and biomethane producers regarding uninterrupted biomethane supply in 2023.

The company is hoping that it will also be able to offer greener gas produced in Lithuania, next year.

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 the 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, from 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.

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