Rural Enterprise

Are you interested in producing biomethane?

Ministers gather with Northern Ireland’s Gas Network Operators to launch a request for information from potential biomethane producers.

If so, NI Gas Network needs to hear from you and in this piece, Iain Hoy, energy transition manager at Phoenix Energy explains more about the work that is ongoing.

Biomethane is a like-for-like renewable replacement for natural gas and thanks to Northern Ireland’s agricultural sector, we have the potential to produce a lot of it – over 80% of NI’s current distribution network demand.

A NI biomethane industry has the potential to not only support the decarbonisation of gas consumers but also further improve the sustainability credentials of NI’s agri-food sector, providing a home for excess slurry, producing digestate based fertiliser products to displace imported chemical fertilisers, producing biogenic CO₂ for use in food processing etc. By supplying waste feedstock to biomethane plants, local farms will play a significant part in supporting NI to reach its decarbonisation and green economy targets.

We already have a substantial biogas industry in NI, and we know from farmers and businesses that have already reached out to us, that there is significant interest in producing biomethane. This is matched by a growing desire from gas consumers – especially from local industry and food and drink processors – to access green gas to support their own, and their customers, decarbonisation targets.
Biomethane is already being injected into the network, however, not every part of the NI Gas Network has sufficient capacity to accommodate the volume of biomethane that is being proposed by potential producers all year round.

To address this issue, the five NI Gas Network Operators are working collaboratively to develop an infrastructure plan to alleviate biomethane injection constraints. However, we need to know the plans of all potential biomethane producers to ensure our plan is as accurate as possible. We don’t want to miss a potential plant which may then struggle to connect to the network.

So, if you are considering producing biomethane in the future, please respond to our ‘request for information from biomethane producers’ by Friday 24th May by visiting the website or contact Iain Hoy, on 028 9055 5504.